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KWU Volleyball Drops Regular Season Finale

KSAL Sports - November 11, 2013 5:58 am

The Kansas Wesleyan Volleyball team found itself down two sets to the Ottawa Braves on Saturday night at Mabee Arena, but the Coyotes would put together an incredible rally to send the match into a fifth set only to come up just short in the loss.

Ottawa would win the first two sets 25-23 and 25-20 before the Coyotes answered back winning the third set 25-20 and then an epic fourth set 30-28 before the fifth which went to the Braves 15-10. The loss means the Coyotes share the 2013 KCAC Regular Season Championship with Tabor, but Wesleyan will be the No. 1 seed in the KCAC Tournament after the application of the tiebreakers.

The first set was a close affair and it appeared Wesleyan was in control, turning an 11-all score into an 18-13 advantage on a kill by Taylor Klover, but Ottawa would come back and tie the set at 19-all and then would take its first lead since 9-8 on a kill by Allie Arnold that made it 21-20. The Coyotes would regain the lead 23-22 on an Ottawa hitting error, but after a timeout, the Braves would score the final three points of the set to win 25-23.

Ottawa rocketed out to a 4-0 lead in the second set, but the Coyotes rallied, tying things up at 9-all and using a handling error by Ottawa’s Lindsey Widen to take a 10-9 lead. Ottawa regained its lead on a kill by Sandra Foster and would lead 20-15 when the Coyotes tried to come back again, getting within three at 21-18 on kill by Alexis Bateman, but Ottawa would come away with the 25-20 win in the set.

Just like the second set, Ottawa pushed out to an early lead 4-1 and would hold as much as a 14-10 lead before the Coyotes put on the rally caps again. A 5-1 run by Wesleyan gave the Coyotes a 16-15 lead on a Brittaney Miller kill and after Ottawa tied things back up at 17-all, Wesleyan took the lead for good on a kill by Melissa Blair and an ace by Miller. Lauren Chamness would serve back-to-back aces to give the Coyotes the 25-20 win in the set.

Wesleyan would jump out to a 7-4 lead in the fourth set, but Ottawa would come back and tie things up at 10-all. The set was tied again at 13-all when the Coyote would rattle off four straight points to take a 17-13 lead on block by Klover and Chamness. The Coyotes had set point at 24-21 after a kill by Chamness, but Ottawa scored the next three to tie the set at 24-all. Service errors by both teams kept the set tied at 25, and the Coyotes again got a kill from Chamness to set up another set point.

Ottawa got its first chance at set point at 27-26 in favor of the Braves, but a kill by Klover would tie things back up and a block by Klover and Miller gave Wesleyan another chance to close the set. Again Ottawa would tie the set, but the Coyotes would get a kill by Klover and a Ottawa hitting error would end the set giving the Coyotes the 30-28 lead.

The Braves scored the first two points in the final set, but Wesleyan answered with four straight to take a 4-2 lead. Ottawa tied things up at 4-all, but the Coyotes would maintain the lead until back-to-back kills by the Braves’ Nicole Gingery would put them ahead for good. Ottawa built a 12-8 lead that proved to be too much for the Coyotes as they would fall 15-10 in the final set.

Chamness led Wesleyan with 19 kills, while Schultz had 11 and Miller added 12 for the Coyotes who hit .194 in the match. Elkinton handed out 39 assists and had four digs for the Coyotes. Miller had 18 digs for a double-double and Marlene Yangadded 15 for the Coyotes.

The Coyotes are the No. 1 seed in the KCAC Tournament which starts Tuesday and will host Saint Mary at 7:00 on Tuesday night at Mabee Arena in the quarterfinals. If Wesleyan wins Tuesday, the Coyotes will host the KCAC Tournament Semifinals on Friday night and the Championship match on Saturday night at Mabee Arena. The winner of the KCAC Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NAIA Volleyball National Championship Opening Round which is November 23 at campus sites around the country.