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KWU Volleyball Sweeps Friends

KSAL Sports - October 31, 2013 6:17 am

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WICHITA – The first point of the match took a minute and 22 seconds, and set the tone for the match. Kansas Wesleyan won that first point and rolled to a three set victory over the Friends Falcons – 25-12, 25-18, 25-15 – on Wednesday night at the Garvey Center.

The win boosts the Coyotes back into sole possession of first place in the KCAC standings with three matches remaining, all at home, next week against Bethany, Bethel and Ottawa.

“If all the points in tonight’s match would have been as long as the first point of the first set, it would have taken about four hours to complete the match,” Wesleyan coach Fred Aubuchonsaid. “It took 17 attacks and seemed like it was three minutes long. Fortunately for us we won that point.”

After scoring the first point of the match, a kill by Lauren Chamness, the Coyotes bolted out to a 7-1 lead in the set on a block byMelissa Blair and Breanne Schultz. Friends got back within three at 8-5 when the Coyotes asserted control in the set. The Coyotes outscored Friends 10-2 over the next 12 points to take an 18-7 lead. Blair’s kill later in the set made it 22-10 in favor of the Coyotes and Wesleyan would take the first set 25-12.

“We went into tonight’s match with a very solid game plan, but we had to adjust it immediately as Friends ran a different system than usual,” Aubuchon said. “Luckily for me as the head coach, I have one of the most intelligent teams in the country as they easily adjusted to all of Friends’ changes.”

Friends the second set 4-3 only to see the Coyotes answer back and take a 9-5 lead on a kill by Chamness. The Falcons got no closer than four the rest of the set at 14-10 on a kill by Crystal Taporco, only to be answered by a kill by Brittaney Miller to get the Coyotes going offensively. Wesleyan extended its lead to 21-12 on another kill by Chamness that forced a Friends timeout. The Coyotes had set point at 24-15 after a block by Chamness, but Friends fought off three set points before Chamness put down a kill to end the set at 25-18.

Going on the offensive, Friends opened the third set with a 4-1 lead and had momentum. Miller would get a kill for the Coyotes and spark Wesleyan’s offense on an 11-2 run to take a 12-6 lead. Wesleyan’s run would continue, turning into a 14-2 charge until Friends would stop the run with a point. Friends cut Wesleyan’s lead to five points at 16-11, but the Coyotes responded pushing their advantage back out to nine points at 20-11 on an ace by Taylor Elkinton. The Coyotes led 24-14 in the final set and Aubuchon would insert Bailee Fritts into the lineup. Fritts would bounce a ball off a Friends attempted block and out of bounds to secure match point and give Wesleyan the sweep over the Falcons taking the final set 25-15.

Chamness led Wesleyan (22-11, 14-1 KCAC) with 16 kills in the match, while Taylor Klover added 10 and Miller had nine as the Coyotes hit .289 as a team in the match with 46 total kills. Elkinton handed out 34 assists, while Schultz had seven. Chamness and Miller each served two aces, while Miller added 17 digs and Marlene Yang had 23 for the Coyotes. Blair and Schultz each had five blocks for the Coyotes, who had nine total team blocks on the night.

“There isn’t one single player on our Coyote team that stood out from one another,” Aubuchon said. “We put together out best complete team effort this entire season tonight.”

The Coyotes will close the regular season with three matches next week all inside the friendly confines of Mabee Arena. Wesleyan hosts Bethany on Monday night, then Bethel on Wednesday and closing the regular season on Saturday against Ottawa.

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