Washburn volleyball puts away Pitt State in three sets


Kyle Manthe

Big kill: Senior middle hitter Allison Maxwell (8) celebrates after making a kill on Oct. 9, 2021. Maxwell finished the match with 15 kills.

After dropping its first set in nearly two weeks of play the day before, Washburn volleyball returned to action on Oct. 9 against Pittsburg State University. Both teams entered the match in the top half of the MIAA standings with the Gorillas at 4-3 and the Ichabods a perfect 7-0.

The first set started strong for Washburn as they jumped out to a 7-1 lead and forced a timeout from Pitt State. The Ichabods continued its efficient offensive attack, hitting .458 as a team and leading 17-6 before another timeout was called. It was effective to begin as the Gorillas took the next four points, but would ultimately fall in the set 25-14. Senior outside hitter Genna Berg and senior middle hitter Allison Maxwell each had four kills in the set to lead Washburn.

“We worked really hard in transition and I think getting the outsides and the right side started in the first game really helped,” said Maxwell.

Following the first set, former volleyball star Kate Hampson was recognized after being inducted into the Washburn Athletics Hall of Fame and was recognized by players, fans and coach Herron.

“It was so fun because look at all these players we got back here, and then I get to introduce Kate at the Hall of Fame and what a stud she is,” said Head Coach Chris Herron.

Back on the court, the second set started similar to the first with the Ichabods leading early, 7-2. Pitt State battled to keep the scoring close to even before taking a timeout with the score at 11-7. Service aces and strong attacking from Maxwell would help the lead extend to 16-9 before another break. A run winning six of seven points would put the Gorillas right back in it, within two points. A final surge by Washburn would finish off the set without drama, 25-18. Senior setter Allison Sadler finished with 12 assists in the set while senior libero Faith Rottinghaus recorded eight digs.

After starting down 0-2 in the third set the Ichabods responded immediately, running off four straight. Washburn incrementally grew the lead as the set progressed, with Maxwell leading the charge, scoring four of the Ichabods points in a row. Pitt State went on a short lived run before Washburn took over and finished the set with a commanding 6-2 run to win the set 25-17 and the match 3-0.

“(That was) much better, I thought we played with the same level of intensity all the way through and there was no ebb and flow,” said Herron on the team’s effort.

Overall Maxwell led the way with 15 kills in and .480 attack percentage while senior middle hitter Kelsey Gordon added 10 kills of her own. Sadler also had a double-double with 38 assists and 13 digs. The victory moved the Ichabods to 16-1 on the season and 8-0 in MIAA play.
Next up is a matchup against Nebraska at Kearney in Lee Arena on Oct. 12.

Edited by Ellie Walker and Alyssa Storm