The Bods fight back at Washburn Invitational

Patience: Seniors Kelsey Gordon and Taylor Antonowich wait for a serve from UCCS at the invitational on Sept. 3.

After starting the season with a win on Thursday, Washburn Volleyball was back in action yesterday for the Washburn Invitational held in Lee Arena. The first match of the day was against the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The Ichabods planned for a strong start in game one of the invitational before playing their second later in the day.

Washburn started the first set of the day strong by taking a 9-2 lead. The Mountain Lions were forced to take a timeout. The successful run did not stop after the break. The Ichabods reeled off six more points in a row before dropping one and the dominance of the set continued. Washburn took the win at 25-5. Faith Rottinghaus had seven digs and Payton Nutter had eight assists in the set.

“It was good. We played…as a team. We were aggressive,” said freshman outside hitter, Jalyn Stevenson.

In the second set, the Ichabods got off to an uncommonly slow start. After a few attack errors, they trailed behind 5-7 early on. Washburn would battle to take the lead after consecutive points by senior outside hitter, Genna Berg. Then the set remained within one or two points throughout its middle stages. A few service aces by the Mountain Lions helped them take a 20-18 lead toward the end. Three points from UCCS would bring the set to its final score of 24-21. The Ichabods responded with three more points of their own before the Mountain Lions took a 25-24 advantage. The Lions won the set on the next point. Senior middle hitter Kelsey Gordon led the way with five kills in the set while senior outside hitter Genna Berg added a few of her own.

“It’s not often that you see a team beat another team that badly in the first set and then turn around and lose the next set,” said Chris Herron, Washburn’s head coach. “They served us way tougher than they did the first set. They passed the ball better than they did the first set. So, we didn’t play with as much confidence as we needed to.”

In the tiebreaking third set, Washburn seemed to revisit their first success and jumped out to a 7-1 advantage. In the middle stages of the set, the Ichabods pulled ahead and took a commanding 17-7 lead after forcing UCCS into two attack errors. The rest of the set went the same for Washburn. They were able to close it out with a 25-11 win, a 2-1 lead in the match. Senior middle hitter Allison Maxwell had four kills in the set and senior setter Allison Sadler, combined with Nutter, had 36 assists for the day.

The fourth set began similarly to the second. The Mountain Lions struck early with a quick 3-2 lead. The Ichabods recovered quickly with a 13-3 run to take a 15-6 lead in the set. The rest of the set played out closer to even, meaning that it would not be enough for UCCS. Washburn took the set with 25-13 and celebrated a 3-1 victory. For the game, Gordon led the team with 10 kills and Sadler finished with 21 assists.

“We…talked about believing in yourself and having faith in yourself,” said Herron. “If you have faith in yourself, it…carries over to the team.”

The Ichabods will be back on the court at 4 p.m. today when they will face #15, Northern State University.

Edited by: Jason Morrison and Madison Dean