Washburn volleyball soars to victory in sweep over Jets


Kyle Manthe

High energy: The team celebrates before huddling after winning a point in the third set on Oct. 1, 2021. Washburn would take the third set 25-12.

After a decisive victory over the University of Central Missouri in its last match, Washburn volleyball was riding a four-match winning streak as they played host to Newman University on Oct. 1, 2021. For the second week in a row the Ichabods were number one in the American Volleyball Coaches Association rankings for Division two teams, while the Jets entered with a record of 5-6 on the year.

The start of the first set was a back-and-forth affair with neither side able to create much separation. That changed for the Ichabods in the middle of the set as they were able to go on a run of kills led by senior outside hitter Genna Berg. They were able to take control, doubling the score of Newman at 16-8. From there Washburn was able to continue forcing the Jets into mistakes that allowed them to take the first set 25-12. Senior setter Allison Sadler led the way with seven assists for the Ichabods while senior outside hitter Taylor Antonowich made seven digs.

The start of the second set for Washburn was dominated by senior middle hitter Allison Maxwell, who had three of the first seven points for the Ichabods all on kills, creating a 7-2 advantage. The lead would grow to as many as eight points midway through the set before the Jets answered with four of the next five points to make it a 18-13 set. The two sides continued to trade points late into the set before Washburn was ultimately able to pull away and win 25-19. Sadler recorded 18 assists in the set while Maxwell paced the Ichabods with four kills.

“I think we had known that we were making a lot of mistakes in the first and second sets so we were like, let’s try to minimize those and really focus,” said Maxwell on the changes the team made after the first two sets.

The third set began with a series of errors by the Jets which forced a timeout and allowed the Ichabods to jump out to a 5-0 lead. Newman would not remain scoreless, but Washburn would continue to build its lead as it grew to 14-3 as many of the starters continued to dominate. The Ichabods would never lose momentum as they cruised to a 25-12 win. The match freshman outside hitter Jalyn Stevenson led them with nine kills on an efficient .474 hit percentage while Sadler recorded 34 assists in all.

The 3-0 sweep moves Washburn to 13-1 on the season and a perfect 3-0 since becoming the number one ranked DII team, as the focus has remained high.

“What’s the difference between one and two or four or six, you’re still going to have that target on your back,” said Head Coach Chris Herron.

The team will be in action next on Oct. 2, when the University of Central Oklahoma comes to Lee Arena.

Edited by Ellie Walker