Washburn goes distance against Emporia State in “Turnpike Tussle”

Rob Burkett

Emporia, Kan.- The Lady Blues came into tonight’s game looking to pick up Washburn fans’ spirits after the football team lost at home earlier in the day. Washburn needed extra points and extra effort to overcome their opponent.

In the first two sets Washburn played strong at the net against ESU. Opening up leads of as much as 5 points in the first set and 4 points in the second set, The Lady Blues came into White auditorium ready to shake off the previous night’s disappointment against No. 7 ranked University of Central Missouri. 

With strong performances by senior right side hitter Brianna Lewis, 19 kills, and junior outside hitters Hillary Hughes and Jessica Fey, 17 and 14 kills respectively, the Lady Blues took a 2-0 into the locker room at the intermission.

After the break, ESU came out ready to fight back as the Lady Hornets defended the net with a strong performance from outside hitter Courtney Haring. The defense, combined with Washburn’s 8 errors in the set were to much for the Lady Blues to overcome as Emporia State got on the board 25-18 to push the game to 2-1. 

The fourth set started out the same way as the third, with Washburn and Emporia State going back and forth. The Lady Blues eventually opened up a small lead, pulling 2 points ahead before the Lady Hornets were able to claw back into the game. After tying up at 22 a piece, the score went into extra points as both teams traded a combination of stinging attacks and hard fought digs en route to a marathon 35-33 score and a 3-1 game finish.

“It was just crazy, just crazy,” said Washburn head coach Chris Herron. “We had some great points and some bone headed points in that fourth set.”

The game concludes the Washburn regular season slate. The Lady Blues now wait to find out where they will be be seeded in the NCAA Division II regionals.