With the bleachers quickly filling up and the student section growing by the minute, Lee Arena was anything but quiet last Wednesday night. A large crowd had gathered to cheer on Washburn’s very own Lady Blue Volleyball Team as they faced their fellow MIAA opponent, the Missouri Southern Lions.
Match one started out with a bang right from the opening serve, with both teams going point for point in the very beginning until halfway through the match, when the Lady Blues took a commanding 18-11 lead. The Lady Blues then moved on to take match one in a standing score of 25-15.
At the start of match two, both teams came out struggling as they both made early mistakes. However, the Lady Blues ended up using MSU’s errors against them to bust out a 17-13 lead. They then added three more points to make the score 20-13. The Lion’s head coach, Trish Knight, concerned that her team was losing momentum, called a timeout to try and talk things out.
After the timeout, the Lady Blues came out confidently, with swagger, and junior captain Jessica Fey responded with a ferocious kill that echoed through Lee Arena. MSU reacted quickly to that attack and put two more points on the board, nevertheless, it was not enough to diminish the burning confidence of the Lady Blues as they took the second match 25-15.
“We came out excited for our first home game,” said Fey. “Sure, we didn’t play as well as we initially wanted to but we ended up with a win—which is always good.”
Senior captain, Courtney Wallman, agreed with her teammate.
“Jessica is right,” Wallman said. “Last week was a good experience for everyone in learning about where we’re at as a team—it gave us a good feel of who much we need to improve on and what we still need to practice before our game against Northwest Missouri State next week.”
After the 15-minute break, The Lions and The Lady Blues came back into the gym ready for game two. Urgently, the MSU Lions struck the first point off of the Lady Blues error. The blues then countered back with three more points to make the score 3-1. Soon afterwards, the Lions scored twice as the Blues struck net. Both teams continuously seemed to go kill for kill, dig for dig and block for black—at this point, the Lions played like they had something to lose, scrapping for everything they could get to make the score 8-11 in favor of MSU.
Not pleased with the current standing, Coach Herron called timeout to get his team refocused. “We weren’t responding well after the break,” said Herron, “which is always disheartening, but that’s volleyball.”
However, the timeout did not seem to help as the Lions added two more points to their lead and it continued to grow to a 5 point lead.
Finally, Freshman Marissa Cox stepped up and scored a thunderous kill, igniting the Lady Blues’ momentum. The Blues went on to score 5 consecutive points to cut the score 14-16. It looked as though the Lions would go on to survive another match, but the Lady Blues had other plans in mind. The score became 20-19 in favor of Washburn when the Lions called timeout. The Blues came out firing on all cylinders adding two more points to make the score 22-19. Another tomahawk kill by Fey would seal the deal on the Lions as the Lady Blues won 25-21. “We had a great fan based crowd that helped motivate us during the last few moments of the match,” said Fey.
Senior Mollie Lacy continues her stellar season, capping the night off with 8 points accompanied by 4 blocks. Junior Jessica Kopp racked up 8 kills with Sophomore Kelsey Lewis totaling 11 digs. The Lady Blues next game will be against Northwest Missouri State on September 20th and according to Coach Herron, the team is ready. “We want to play well,” said Herron, “with practice and strong leadership—that will be our primary goal every time.”