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Washburn volleyball puts away Pitt State in three sets

By KYLE MANTHE

The Washburn Review

Following a 3-1 victory the night before, No. 1-ranked Washburn volleyball was back in action Saturday against Pittsburg State University, which was fresh off a sweep of Emporia State.

After a slow finish on Friday the Ichabods were looking for a clean, strong effort all the way through.

“It was really important, that was one thing that we made sure to talk about last night and then focus on today,” said senior middle hitter Allison Maxwell, who finished with a game-high 15 kills.

AllisonMaWashburn senior Allison Maxwell (8) celebrates a kill during Saturday's 3-0 win over Pittsburg State at Lee Arena. [Photo by Kyle Manthe/TSN]

Washburn got back to finishing the job in three sets, winning 25-14, 25-18, and 25-17. The sweep moved the Ichabods to 16-1 on the year.

Washburn wasted no time early, hitting .458 as a team on its way to a 17-6 lead in the first set before closing it out after a fleeting attempt late by Pitt State. Senior setter Allison Sadler got started on her double-double collecting 11 assists and four digs in the set.

Following the first set former volleyball star Kate Hampson was recognized after being inducted into the Washburn Athletics Hall of Fame and was recognized by players, fans and coach Chris Herron.

“It was so fun because look at all these players we got back here, and then I get to introduce Kate at the Hall of Fame and what a stud she is,” said Herron.

It was more of the same in the second, with Washburn getting out of the gates fast. This time the Gorillas mounted a comeback to pull within two midway through the set before the Ichabods finished them off late.

The extra attacking was no problem for senior libero Faith Rottinghaus who collected eight digs in the set.

“Faith Rottinghaus is a freak, she is so good, the stuff she picks up in the back row, there's not a price tag on what she can do,” said Herron.

Washburn started down 0-2 in the third set but battled back quickly, and when the offense was bogged down they would turn to Maxwell who recorded 7 kills in the set including four of the Ichabods' points in a row. A 6-2 run to finish would complete the set and the sweep for Washburn.

“We worked really hard in transition and I think getting the outsides and the right side started in the first game really helped,” said Maxwell.

After Maxwell’s 15 kills and .480 attack percentage was senior middle hitter Kelsey Gordon who recorded 10 kills and three blocks in the match.

Sadler continued to shine with a match-high 38 kills along with 13 digs which was only topped on the team by Rottinghaus who finished with 20.

“(That was) much better, I thought we played with the same level of intensity all the way through and there was no ebb and flow,” said Herron.

The win kept the Ichabods unbeaten in the MIAA at 8-0 heading into a home match against Nebraska at Kearney on Tuesday.

On the Pitt State side, former Shawnee Heights standout Taylor Hawkins recorded three kills and a block in the match for the Gorillas.

MATCH RESULTS

Washburn def. Pittsburg State University, 25-14, 25-18, 25-17