William Penn University
Despite dominating two of the first three games, the Lady Statesmen volleyball team was forced to play a full match before knocking off St. Ambrose 3-2 in Midwest Collegiate Conference play Tuesday.
William Penn (17-6, 1-0 MCC), winners of seven in a row, won by scores of 25-14, 30-32, 25-14, 21-25, 15-13. The Lady Statesmen outhit the Queen Bees .170-.104.
The lady Statesmen came out strong, scoring ten of the first 13 points. The Queen Bees (10-3, 0-2 MCC) responded, however, narrowing the margin to three at 11-8. They would get no closer, though, as William Penn scored four straight and cruised to the 1-0 lead. The Lady Statesmen held a .290-.000 advantage in hitting.
A marathon ensued in the second game. The Lady Statesmen were up 23-20 and also owned game point at 24-23, but could not close it out.
The third game was a near mirror image of the first with the hosts leading wire-to-wire. William Penn hit .161, while putting St. Ambrose in the red (-.051). A deciding fifth game was forced as the visitors returned the favor by leading the entire fourth game.
The score seesawed in game 5 with the Lady Statesmen scoring the first two points, but then relinquishing the advantage at 5-4. William Penn did not fold, however, reeling off six straight points and retaining the lead to the end. The Queen Bees cut the edge to one at 14-13, but a block by Kylie Giger and Katie Rielly secured the victory. The squad finished with seven total blocks.
Lacey Taylor topped the offensive effort with 19 kills and a .271 attack percentage, while Rielly tallied 16 kills and a .250 clip. Jeanette Cunningham and Alanna Connors added eight winners, and Giger had seven.
Dayna Sammons tallied 51 assists, while Leyra Jusino provided a huge spark off the bench with team bests in digs (26) and aces (three; tied with Taylor). Danielle Breeher was right behind her with 25 digs.
Cunningham was a part of four blocks.
“This was a big match for us,” Head Coach Jeremy Wise said. “Our ladies stepped up and had great intensity for most of the match. We made crucial points when needed and our seniors played big in tough spots.”
“We need to keep our focus throughout, but this was still a great win,” Wise added. “It is always nice to start 1-0 in the conference and we look forward to keeping this going against Ashford on Thursday.”
William Penn remains at home Thursday to host Ashford in non-conference action at 7:30 p.m.