Golden Grizzlies Wrap Up 1999 Season at 6-24 Overall

Despite a coaching change in the off-season, Oakland’s 1999 volleyball team struggled to a final record of 6-24 overall and 2-12 in the Mid-Continent Conference.

First year head coach Ed Tolentino inherited a team, who played with nine players much of the year, that struggled out of the gate. OU dropped its first five matches of the season, starting with a loss on the road at Eastern Michigan.

Although the Golden Grizzlies played hard, EMU defeated Oakland in three straight, 6-15, 4-15, 15-17. Oakland’s Tess Pierce and Carmen Trippett each led the team with eight kills in the match.

Next the Golden Grizzlies traveled to West Virginia where they dropped their second match of the season to the Mountaineers, 13-15, 9-15, 6-15. Although OU started off strong, the Golden Grizzlies faded as the match wore on. Jaime Puckett led the team in the match with eight kills against West Virginia.

Next the Golden Grizzlies took on the Kansas Jayhawks at the WVU Tournament. KU claimed victory over Oakland in three straight, 8-15, 5-15, 9-15. Pierce and Puckett led the Golden Grizzlies with six kills each.

Next the 0-3 Oakland team took on Maryland-Baltimore County. The Golden Grizzlies were defeated in three straight, 7-15, 5-15, 4-15. The Golden Grizzlies were lead by Puckett with eight kills.

On September 8 the Golden Grizzlies just missed their first victory of the season, losing a five set heartbreaker to Central Michigan at home, 15-13, 8-15, 15-6, 0-15, 14-2. Again Cothren was a leader for the team totaling 31 assists for the Grizzlies. Pierce also contributed nine kills.

On September 11, in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, the Golden Grizzlies claimed their first victory of the season by defeating Saint Francis in four games, 17-15, 16-14, 12-15, 15-13. Trippett led the Golden Grizzlies with 19 kills. Cothren also added 35 assists for the team.

Later that same day (Sept. 11) Oakland defeated Howard in three straight, 15-11, 15-10, 15-4, to extend the winning streak to two.

The next day in a match with Eastern Kentucky in the Robert Morris Colonial Classic, Oakland fell again in three straight, 15-12, 15-9, 17-15. The Golden Grizzlies were led by Pierce who had eight kills. Cothren also tallied 21 assists.

These types of finishes for the Golden Grizzlies were what they would face for the remainder of their season. OU dropped 18 of its last 22 matches of the year.

There were some heartbreaking losses as the Golden Grizzlies lost five-game matches to IUPUI (10/22/99) 7-15, 5-15, 15-12, 15-12, 12-15 and against Wisconsin-Green Bay, 15-4, 15-10, 10-15, 13-15, 10-15.

Oakland won matches against Chicago State, beating them 15-11, 10-15, 15-12, 15-4, and Robert Morris 16-14, 15-7, 15-10. OU finished the season with a loss to Youngstown State, 10-15, 3-15, 6-15 on November 13.

Pierce led the team in 1999 with 317 kills and 32 solo blocks, followed closely by Trippett with 299. Cothren also led the team with 874 assists and aces with 27. Erica Brown led the Golden Grizzlies with 362 digs in her senior season.

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