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No. 1 WU volleyball drops set but picks up win over Missouri Southern

By KYLE MANTHE

The Washburn Review

After sweeping both matches the weekend prior, No. 1-ranked Washburn volleyball began another weekend at home with a match against Missouri Southern, which entered Friday winless in the conference and 3-12 overall.

Washburn's success has set high standards for the team each night out and although Friday's match was a somewhat suprising four-setter, the Ichabods remained undefeated in MIAA play, taking a 25-8, 25-8, 22-25, 25-14 victory at Lee Arena. 

“We should have beat them in five more minutes and then gotten out of the gym,” said Head Coach Chris Herron. 

IMG 7691Washburn senior Genna Berg had a match-high 18 kills in Saturday's 3-1 Ichabod home win over Missouri Southern. [Photo by Kyle Manthe/The Washburn Review]

The first set was business as usual for Washburn as it jumped out to an early 8-1 lead and cruised from there to a 25-8 victory. Five Ichabods up front had at least three kills in the set while senior libero Faith Rottinghaus recorded 8 digs. 

“We were just connecting really well with the setters, and I think confidence was really big,” said senior outside hitter Genna Berg, who recorded 5 kills in the first set. 

There was more resistance early in the second set as it began 4-4 but Washburn took control from that point, going on a 21-4 run to win the set, 25-8. The Ichabod defense was stout, forcing the Lions to record six errors in the set compared to just three kills. 

The third set presented challenges for Washburn as the Ichabods went deeper into the bench, starting in a 0-5 hole. They would recover to tie the set multiple times, but the offense was not clicking like it was the first two sets, as the Ichabods finished with just a .083 attack percentage in the set.

The bogged down offense and eight errors allowed Missouri Southern to pull away at the end, 25-22. 

“Definitely something changed,'' Berg said. "I think it was our energy, we just kind of went through the motions a little bit. Hopefully that shows us that we need to pick it up a little bit for (Saturday).” 

The focus was more in check for the fourth set as Washburn led 11-4 early with senior middle hitter Allison Maxwell recording five kills in the first nine points for the Ichabods. The lead would expand to as many as 16 points before the set and match were finished off with a 25-14 victory. 

While lessons are better to learn after a win, Herron hopes that the match was a wake-up call up and down the roster. 

“Yeah (I was happy with the starters), but after that, no,” said Herron. 

Berg was dominant offensively, with a team-high of 18 kills on a .571 attack percentage while also adding 7 digs. Maxwell also finished in double digits with 12 kills in the match. 

IMG 8089Washburn senior libero Faith Rottinghaus recorded 22 digs in Friday's 3-1 MIAA volleyball win over Missouri Southern. [Photo by Kyle Manthe/The Washburn Review]

Senior setter Allison Sadler continued to guide the offense with 35 assists while Rottinghaus finished the match with 22 digs. The win moved Washburn to 15-1 on the season and 7-0 in MIAA play.

MATCH RESULTS

Washburn def. Missouri Southern, 25-8, 25-8, 22-25, 25-14