Women’s Volleyball claims share of KCAC title with sweep of Evangel

Kansas Wesleyan Women’s Volleyball claimed a share of the 2023 KCAC Women’s Volleyball Regular Season Championship after the Coyotes’ sweep of Evangel on Saturday morning inside Mabee Arena 25-17, 25-15, 25-22.It’s the first regular season title for the Coyotes since 2017.KWU and Oklahoma Wesleyan finished the season 12-1 in the KCAC, sharing the title, but OKWU will be the No. 1 seed in the tournament, and KWU will be the No. 2 seed after applying conference tiebreaking procedures.It was a fitting finish to the regular season for the Coyotes, who honored seven seniors and two early-graduating juniors in the program before the match – Malia MackTaylor Suko, Hina Kua, Savannah KogaKelcey HundMegan PeelerJosie DeckingerKatie Crain and Courtney Beers.It was 11-9 Coyotes in the opening set when KWU broke free. Four straight Evangel errors put the Coyotes up 15-9 and a later assisted block by Sarah Girard and Rylee Serpan put the Coyotes up 19-10.Gianna Adriaanse’s kill capped the first set 25-17.It was 11-8 in the second set in favor of the Coyotes when Wesleyan pulled away again. A block by Girard and Kylee Harris spurred the run for the Coyotes who took a 19-9 lead on Girard’s service ace. Deckinger closed the set with a service ace.Sensing the impending title call on the horizon, the third set was close throughout. A kill by Kylee Harris gave Wesleyan a 21-15 lead, but Evangel came back and got within a point at 23-22 before a Wesleyan timeout calmed the Coyote nerves. A ball handling error by Evangel set up match point and KWU closed it out on an Evangel hitting error.Serpan led the Coyotes with 16 kills in the match. Deckinger had 24 assists and six digs. Hund had 17 digs. Girard had five blocks and two aces.The Coyotes will be the No. 2 seed in the KCAC Tournament which is next Friday and Saturday in Hutchinson at the Sports Arena. KWU will face the winner between 7-seed Saint Mary and 10-seed Sterling at 1:30 p.m. Friday.