The Kansas Wesleyan Volleyball team split its two matches on Sunday in the Kansas Wesleyan Volleyball Tournament held at Mabee Arena. Combined with Saturday’s split, the team kept its record even at 2-2 heading into the second week of competition.
The Coyotes opened Sunday with a four-set loss to Dakota State, before closing out the tournament with a straight set win over conference opponent Southwestern.
Dakota State 3, KWU 1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-19): The Coyotes won a tight first set, but dropped the last three to fall to the Trojans.
Wesleyan raced out to a 6-2 lead in the first set, and led 12-6 on Morgan Bryand (SO/Wichita, Kan.)’s kill, before Dakota State got back within a point at 17-16. DSU tied it at 19, but three points by the Coyotes on a Elizabeth Hardacre (SO/Kensington, Kan.) kill, and two Trojan errors gave Wesleyan a 22-19 lead. DSU got within a point one more time before the Coyotes would win the set 25-22.
In the second, the Coyotes trailed by just two points at 13-11 before DSU extended its lead to 20-14. The Coyotes couldn’t get closer than three the rest of the way. Things looked to be heading in favor of the Coyotes, who took a 12-5 lead in the third set on a block by Audrey Sineath (FR/Gardner, Kan.) and Chelsea James (SO/Wichita, Kan.), but DSU tied it at 14-all and would take as much as a 22-16 lead in the set. The Coyotes closed within a point on a kill by Bryand but DSU would hold for the win.
The Coyotes fell behind 6-0 to start the fourth, but were able to bounce back, tying things up at 13-all, and taking a brief 14-13 lead. DSU would take the lead back pushing out to a 19-15 advantage which proved to be too much for the Coyotes.
Maddy Beckett (SO/Halstead, Kan.) had a team-best 14 kills for the Coyotes, while Bryand had 11. Cortney Hanna (SO/Lawrence, Kan.)h had 19 assists and Josie Deckinger (FR/Wichita, Kan.) had 12. Emily Monson (SO/Cheney, Kan.) had 18 digs in the match. Bryand added three aces and Sineath had five blocks.
KWU 3, Southwestern 0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-21): The Coyotes would meet conference foe Southwestern and come away with a straight set win over the Moundbuilders.
Wesleyan took a 6-3 lead early in the first on an error by Southwestern, and would hold the lead, extending it to 15-10 on a kill by Beckett. The Coyotes kept pressing, taking advantage of more Southwestern errors to take an 18-11 lead. Southwestern responded after a timeout, reeling off seven straight to tie it at 18-all. A service error gave the lead back to the Coyotes, who pushed out to a 22-19 lead on a service ace by Hanna.
Much like the first, the Coyotes fell behind early, but responded in the second, taking a 7-3 lead on Bryand’s kill. Southwestern tied it up at 10-all, but another Bryand kill would start a six-point rally for the Coyotes capped by Hanna’s service ace to make it 16-10. Southwestern never got closer than six the rest of the way.
The third set went back and forth with the Coyotes holding the lead, but were never able to shake the Moundbuilders. Four points was the biggest lead the Coyotes could build at 15-11 and again at the final score of 25-21 as Sineath ended it with a block.
The Coyotes had a balanced attack, hitting .203 for the match, as Beckett and Bryand had 11 kills each. Hanna had 19 assists and four service aces. Monson had 14 digs while Beckett added 13 and Hanna had 12.
The Coyotes are scheduled to play in a tournament next weekend hosted by Peru State in Peru, Neb., but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic keeps schedules fluid. Check for the latest updates on kwucoyotes.com.