Ichabod volleyball starts on top

Team work: The team puts their hands up in celebration of winning their first set of the season on its way to a 3-0 match victory.

After 637 days between matches, Washburn Volleyball returned to action on Thursday when they welcomed Cameron University into Lee Arena. In the team’s last official season back in 2019, they went 27-4 and entered 2021 ranked number eight in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll.

“We kind of all talked about it at the beginning of the match like, this is what we came here to do, this is two years in the making and we were excited to get out there and be a team together,” said senior middle hitter Kelsey Gordon.

In the first set, Washburn started out strong controlling possession of the ball jumping out to an 8-3 lead. Cameron would make a push back, bringing the first set to 11-8 after back-to-back kills. The Ichabods responded quickly with runs of kills of their own to make it 17-9. Washburn continued the strong play to clean up the first set, taking it 25-11. Senior outside hitter Genna Berg led the team with five kills in the set and senior setter Allison Sadler delivered nine assists.

The second set was the same for the Ichabods as they jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead and took advantage of four attack errors by the Aggies in that time. Washburn did not stop there as they got in a groove, scoring nine of the next ten points. Cameron would still be heard from as they took advantage of service errors and caused attack errors by the Ichabods, bringing the score to 22-14. Washburn would recover to close out the set 25-16 and take a 2-0 lead. Senior hitter Allison Maxwell had six kills in the set and senior libero Faith Rottinghaus recorded six digs.

“We transitioned really off and on the net, we had some good touches on our ball and had good ball control but there are always things to work on,” said Gordon who finished the match with eight kills.

The third set was more of the same for the Ichabods as they started the set with a 6-1 advantage. This time they would not slide in the middle of the set, even as the team went deeper into its bench, leading to a 25-9 set victory. That gave Washburn a clean sweep on the day and moved the team to 1-0 on the season as seven players recorded kills in the final set alone.

“We were able to play every kid on the team and that to me is the biggest plus, that every kid got a little bit of experience,” said head coach Chris Herron.

The Ichabods return today as they play host to Minot State University on the final day of the Washburn Invitational.

Edited by: Madison Dean