The Washburn Lady Blues played the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats last Friday night in Lee Arena. The Lady Blues came into the weekend matches ranked No. 3 in the nation after Nebraska-Kearney lost two matches that enabled Washburn to move up one spot.
The Lady Blues came out strong in the first set, defeating the Bearcats 25-10. Northwest put up a good fight in the second set, but didn’t have enough as they dropped the set 25-17. The Lady Blues put on a strong showing early in the third set, as they rushed out to an 11-2 lead and eventually won 25-15 and finished the clean sweep of the Bearcats.
The Lady Blues never let Northwest get into a grove.
Senior outside hitter, Jessica Kopp led the Lady Blues with 10 kills while fellow senior outside hitter, Hillary Hughes, added 11 digs. Junior setter Abby Wittman had 24 assists and was able to setup her hitters well all night as the Lady Blues hit a combined .297.
“We came in really focused because we’re coming off a big win at Central,” said Kopp. “We knew we had to be focused and not have a letdown.”
Saturday afternoon, the Lady Blues returned to action as they hosted the Missouri Western Griffons. The Lady Blues earned another sweep beating the Griffons 25-13, 25-22 and 25-13 at Lee Arena.
The Lady Blues easily took the first set, but struggled with the Griffons in the second set before eventually putting them away 25-22. The Lady Blues made some corrections in between the second and third sets, and came out and handled the Griffons and finished off the weekend sweep.
Four Lady Blues were able to reach double-digit kills with Hughes leading the way with 11. Jessica Fey, Marrisa Cox and Kelsey Lewis each had 10 kills as well. Cox was also able to add four blocks.
“They came out the second game and hit really well and the third game our goal was to just pound them so we could focus on next week with Emporia on Tuesday,” said Cox. “So we really put our focus in and did it.”
Cox, a sophomore middle hitter, attributes the balance of the offense to how well they are doing.
Fey states that there was definitely a let down during the second set which led to it being a lot closer than the other two.
“We just have to come out with teams like this and stay focused and stay intense,” said Fey. “That’s on us, not anyone else.”
The Lady Blues were able to outhit the Griffons in the match .322 to .116. Washburn also had the upper hand in kills, 53-27, as well as digs, 65-43.
Tuesday night the Lady Blues travelled to Emporia to face the Hornets (16-7, 6-4 MIAA) of Emporia State.
Washburn won the first set 25-18 and claimed the second set 25-22. Not to be outdone on their home court, the Lady Hornets were able to win the third set 25-23. But Washburn managed to win the fourth set 25-20 to get a 3-1 victory over ESU. The win gave the Lady Blues a sweep over their rivals and leave the Blues in the driver seat to win the conference.
Washburn improves to 24-1 and 11-1 in the MIAA. Next up the Blues is Drury University (11-14) on Saturday. The Lady Blues return to Lee Arena on Oct. 30 to face Fort Hays State.