Washburn goes 4-0 at St. Mary’s Invitational

Josh Rouse

Under head volleyball coach Chris Herron, the No. 6 Washburn Lady Blues are now 36-0 in season-opening tournaments after going 4-0 at the St. Mary’s Invitational in San Antonio, Texas.

The Blues started off Friday with a 3-1 win against Southwestern Oklahoma State from the Lone Star Conference. Washburn won the first two sets by scores of 25-7 and 25-12 before losing the third set 22-25. The Blues finished strong, however, with a score of 25-12. Junior setter Amanda Guess had 19 assists and 10 digs, and junior All-American hitter Mollie Lacy added a team-high 10 kills. Both Guess and redshirt freshman Abby Whitman had double-doubles, filling the spot vacated by All-American setter Kate Hampson, who is an assistant coach with the team after her eligibility expired last season.

In the second game of the night, Washburn sweeped host school St. Mary’s 3-0 by scores of 25-19, 25-12 and 25-11. Senior libero/defensive specialist Molly Smith had a game-high 20 digs, and Guess set a career-mark with 26 assists. Sophomore outside hitter Hillary Hughes chipped in a double-double with 10 kills, 10 digs and three blocks.

On Saturday morning, the Blues came out strong again with a 3-0 sweep of Maryville by scores of 25-12, 25-11 and 25-16. Guess once again set a career-mark in assists with 31 on 75 attempts, with junior Jennifer Kolarik adding 14 digs. Sophomore hitter Jessica Kopp and junior hitter Courtney Wallman had 11 kills each.

Washburn finished the tournament with another 3-0 sweep, this time against Wheeling Jesuit, by scores of 25-16, 25-23 and 25-10. Jesuit was an NCAA qualifier in 2009, but another strong performance by Guess (31 assists, 11 digs) helped the Blues dispose of the Cardinals. Smith had a team-high 13 digs and freshman Aubri Renshaw had her first career double-double with 14 kills and 10 digs.

Washburn will travel to St. Louis next weekend for the Triton Classic, where they will face Arkansas-Fort Smith and Harding University Friday, followed by Southern Indiana and Illinois-Springfield Saturday.