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Coyote Volleyball Claims Share of KCAC Crown

KSAL Sports - November 7, 2013 6:06 am

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Kansas Wesleyan secured no worse than a share of the 2013 KCAC Volleyball Regular Season Championship as the Coyotes swept the Bethel Threshers – 25-20, 25-17, 26-24 – on Wednesday night at Mabee Arena.

It is the first championship for the Coyotes in volleyball since the 2011 season when Wesleyan also became the first-ever KCAC team to advance past the NAIA Opening Round since the Direct Qualification model started in 2008.

Regardless of what happens in Wesleyan’s final match of the regular season on Saturday, the Coyotes are assured the No. 1 seed in the KCAC Tournament as they hold the tiebreaker on Tabor since the teams split their regular season matchups.

Wesleyan rocketed out to a 4-1 lead in the opening set against the Threshers on a kill by Melissa Blair. Bethel rallied, tied the match at 11-all on a service ace, but the Coyotes would maintain the lead and pull out to a 19-14 advantage on a kill by Taylor Klover before taking the first set 25-20.

The Coyotes fell behind Bethel 4-1 in the second set, but four straight points by the Coyotes game them a 5-4 lead on a block by Kaci Cole and Klover. Bethel would pull ahead again, leading by four at 15-11 when the Coyotes offense awakened. Back-to-back kills by Blair and Breanne Schultz got the Coyotes going and back-to-back aces by Brittaney Miller tied the set at 16-all. The Coyotes continued their march, pulling ahead 21-16 on a block by Blair and Cole. After a point by Bethel, the Coyote would score four straight to take the second set 25-17.

The third set featured ten ties and two lead changes before the Coyotes finally would get the win 26-24 to complete the sweep. A quick start by the Coyotes gave them a 3-1 lead, but Bethel would tie things back up at 4-all and take a lead with a block at 5-4. The Coyotes would tie things up at 7-all and again at 9-all before Bethel would pull out to a 17-11 lead on a service ace. After a Bethel serving error, the Coyotes rattled off five more points, all on kills, to tie the set at 17.

The Coyotes finally regained the lead at 20-19 on a kill by Miller and would extend their lead to 22-19 to force a Bethel timeout. The Coyotes had match point at 24-22 but Bethel would get two points to tie things up at 24-all before the Wesleyan closed things out on back-to-back kills by Blair.

Schultz led Wesleyan’s offense with 14 kills, while Klover had nine and Miller seven as the Coyotes hit .267 as a team with 40 kills. Klover had 34 assists and was one of four players with two service aces on the night. Miller had 13 digs to pace the Coyote defense while Klover had five blocks for top blocking honors.

The Coyotes will host Ottawa in the regular season finale on Saturday at 7 p.m., at Mabee Arena. The KCAC Postseason Tournament begins next Tuesday with quarterfinal matches at the home sites of the higher seed and the tournament semifinals and finals will be held at the site of the highest remaining seed after the quarterfinals.

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