Volleyball sweeps season opening triangular

MARSHALL, Mo. – Kansas Wesleyan Volleyball opened its 2022 season with a pair of wins on Saturday in the Missouri Valley Triangular inside the Burns Athletic Center. The Coyotes swept Calumet College of St. Joseph and won in four sets over Missouri Valley.


KWU 3, Calumet 0 (25-22, 25-11, 25-22): The Coyotes opened the season with a straight-set win over Calumet College of St. Joseph.


In the opening set, it was a back and forth game until Calumet pulled out to a 19-15 lead. The Crimson Wave led 21-17 when the Coyotes caught fire. A kill by setter Josie Deckinger (JR/Wichita, Kan.) started Wesleyan’s rally that saw the Coyotes draw even at 21-all on kill by Rylee Serpan (FR/Spring Hill, Kan.), and taking the lead on another Deckinger kill. Calumet tied it at 22, but Wesleyan scored the final three points of the set, the last on a kill by Elizabeth Hardacre (SR/Kensington, Kan.) to end the set 25-22.


The Coyotes jumped out early in the second set, but Calumet tied it at 5-5 and took a brief 6-5 lead before things took a big turn in favor of Wesleyan. Five straight points capped by a kill by Serpan made it 10-6 and from there KWU outscored Calumet 15-5 to win the set 25-11.


Calumet led 7-3 in the third set, but again the Coyotes rallied. Back-to-back kills by Hardacre gave the Coyotes a 12-11 lead. Calumet led at 18-17 before the Coyotes would come back and take a 20-18 lead. Calumet tied it again at 20-all before the Coyotes scored five of the last seven points to close out the match 25-22.


Hardacre was huge for the Coyotes with 11 kills on 12 attempts for a .917 attack percentage. Morgan Bryand (SR/Wichita, Kan.) added 10 kills. Deckinger had 40 assists as the Coyotes have started the season in a 5-1 offense. Kelcey Hund (JR/Leavenworth, Kan.) had 17 digs in her Coyote debut, and freshman Serpan had two blocks and five kills in her collegiate debut.


KWU 3, Missouri Valley 1 (19-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-14): It took four sets, but the Coyotes made it a 2-0 day as Wesleyan knocked off the host Vikings in four sets.


The first set went back and forth as Wesleyan led 12-10 after a kill by Maddy Beckett (SR/Halstead, Kan.), but MVC would take the lead at 16-15 and pushed out to a 21-15 advantage, which proved to be too much for the Coyotes to overcome.


The Coyotes bounced back to start the second set, jetting out to a 6-1 lead on Cortney Hanna (SR/Lawrence, Kan.)’s service ace. MVC got back within three at 10-7 but the Coyotes would hold the lead, pushing back out to a 17-11 lead on a kill by Serpan. The Vikings got back within three at 19-16, but the Coyotes regained control taking a 23-18 lead on another kill by Serpan, before closing out the set with a 25-20 win.


Set number 3 went back and forth to start out with both teams holding the lead. Missouri Valley led 17-14 when the Coyotes got untracked, scoring the next four points to take an 18-17 lead on a block by Hardacre and Deckinger. The Coyoted led 23-20 but Valley made it interesting getting within a point at 23-22 before the Coyotes got the final two points to win 25-22.


A huge run by the Coyotes mid-way through the fourth set powered Wesleyan to the big 25-14 win. KWU led most of the set, but it was tied 9-9 when the Coyotes got things going, scoring 13 of the next 14 points to take a 22-10 lead in the set on the way to the 25-14 win.


Morgan Bryand led the Coyotes with 15 kills, while Serpan added 12. Hund had 20 digs and Deckinger had 45 assists. Beckett had four service aces and eight digs to go along with five kills. Hardacre had a solo block and three assisted blocks in the match.


Wesleyan is back in action next week at Doane on Wednesday before heading to Hastings, Neb. on Friday and Saturday for a tournament at Hastings College.