WINFIELD – Kansas Wesleyan Volleyball was glad to be back on the court competing on Saturday as the Coyotes played in a triangular against Friends and Southwestern, hosted by Southwestern, at Historic Stewart Fieldhouse. The Coyotes would come away with a pair of three-set sweeps to open conference play.
Saturday’s matches weren’t even on the schedule until Thursday, due to a slew of COVID-19 related cancelations and postponements for all three teams. Coaches from all three teams got together and made it happen.
Both matches for the Coyotes count in the conference standings as KWU improves to 5-3 overall and 2-0 in the KCAC.
There wasn’t a lot of rust for the Coyotes to shake off, opening the triangular with a sweep of Friends 25-16, 25-19, 26-24.
Wesleyan led 6-3 in the opening set, when things turned decidedly Coyote. After a Friends service error, Emily Monson (SO/Cheney, Kan.) would serve 12 straight points which included three service aces as the Coyotes built an 18-3 lead in the set. Friends got within 23-16, but could not score again as KWU close the set out 25-16.
The second set was tied 14-14 when the Coyotes added off four straight points to take an 18-14 lead. After a Friends point, the Coyotes scored three more to take a 21-15 lead, and the Coyotes would win 25-19.
The Coyotes led 10-5 in the third set, but Friends closed in, drawing even at 23-all. A kill by Maddy Beckett (SO/Halstead, Kan.) gave KWU match point, but Friends tied it up again. Another kill by Beckett gave KWU match point again, and Karlee Becker closed things out with a service ace.
Beckett had 11 kills for the Coyotes while Elizabeth Hardacre (SO/Kensington, Kan.) had eight and Audrey Sineath (FR/Gardner, Kan.) had seven. Cortney Hanna (SO/Lawrence, Kan.) had 31 assists. Monson had 20 digs and five service aces in the match. Beckett added 12 digs as well.
Wesleyan kept momentum going in its second match, sweeping Southwestern 25-21, 25-20, 25-20.
KWU led 7-3 early in the first set, but Southwestern came back to tie it at 7-7. KWU then scored the next five points including a service ace by Becker to take a 12-7 lead. The Coyotes extended the lead to 14-8 before Southwestern got back within two at 17-15. The Coyotes would hold on for a 25-21 win the first set.
The second set went back and forth with both teams trading the lead. Southwestern led 20-19 when the Coyotes caught fire, fueled by a block by Morgan Bryand (SO/Wichita, Kan.), scoring the final six points to take the second 25-20.
Southwestern led 18-17 in the third set, but the Coyotes rattled off six of the next seven points to take a 23-20 lead on Sineath’s service ace. After a Southwestern point, the Coyotes would score the final two on a kill by Bryand and a Hardacre block to close the match.
Beckett had 12 kills to lead the Coyotes, and Hanna had another 31 assists. Monson added 11 digs. Bryand had six kills and four aces, and Becker added three aces and four kills. Hardacre had nine kills as well as KWU hit an impressive .253 for the match.
Wesleyan is back at it, hopefully, on Wednesday, hosting Bethany at Mabee Arena. JV starts at 5:30 followed by the varsity main event at 7. KWU then hosts a triangular with McPherson and Tabor next Saturday in Mabee Arena.