HUTCHINSON – Kansas Wesleyan volleyball dropped a straight set decision to Saint Mary in the KCAC Volleyball Tournament quarterfinals on Friday at the Hutchinson Sports Arena – 25-19, 25-21, 25-22.
Things started out strong for the Coyotes as KWU jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the opening set behind two service aces by Josie Deckinger (SO/Wichita, Kan.), but Saint Mary scored the next five points to take a 5-4 lead. KWU regained the lead 8-5 in the set, but Saint Mary tied it back up at 9-9.
Wesleyan grabbed a 11-9 lead in the set, but Saint Mary would take control on a 9-1 run that make it 18-12 in favor of the Spires. Points went back and forth the rest of the set with Saint Mary winning 25-19.
Saint Mary led 11-5 in the second set, but the Coyotes came roaring back started on a service error by Saint Mary, the Coyotes rattled off six straight to tie the set at 11-all. Trailing 14-12, the Coyotes grabbed the lead back briefly at 15-14 on a kill by Morgan Bryand (JR/Wichita, Kan.), and later led 19-17 on a kill by Chelsea James (JR/Wichita, Kan.). Saint Mary tied it at 20, then a kill by Elizabeth Hardacre (JR/Kensington, Kan.) gave the Coyotes a 21-20 lead. Saint Mary closed the set on a 5-0 run to win 25-21.
The Coyotes jumped out to a 3-0 lead to start the third set, but Saint Mary scored six of the next seven point to take a 6-4 lead. KWU took a 7-6 lead on a Saint Mary error, and led 8-7 on a block by Maddy Beckett (JR/Halstead, Kan.) and Malia Mack (JR/Joplin, Mo.), but four straight followed from Saint Mary to give the Spires an 11-8 lead.
Saint Mary led 21-14, and the Coyotes battled back to get within three at 21-18 on a kill by Beckett, but got no closer until 24-22 on a Hardacre kill before Saint Mary closed out the match.
Beckett led the way for the Coyotes with 12 kills while Bryand had eight and James and Hardacre six each. The Coyotes hit .153 as a team, while Saint Mary hit .241. Josie Deckinger had 26 assists and Cortney Hanna (JR/Lawrence, Kan.) had 13. Emily Monson (SR/Cheney, Kan.) finished with 18 digs and Beckett had 10. Mack had five blocks, two solo, in the match.