Seniors show out for volleyball in sweep of Lopers


Kyle Manthe

High energy: The team celebrates freshman outside hitter Jalyn Stevenson after she makes a kill on Oct. 12, 2021. The Ichabods would defeat the Lopers in three sets in the match.

After a fourth consecutive flawless week Washburn volleyball was back at home to start off a busy week of action. First up was a top-15 bout against the University of Nebraska at Kearney. In the two teams previous match the Ichabods defeated the Lopers 3-1 knocking them off the number one spot.

Kearney got started quickly, jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first set, which left Washburn fighting an uphill battle for most of the set. The challenge would finally be met after two kills by senior middle hitter Kelsey Gordon and an attack error from the Lopers, giving the Ichabod’s a 16-15 lead. The set would get tied up again at 19 before Washburn went on a 5-0 run to set up match point and finish out the set 25-22. Senior setter Allison Sadler recorded 12 assists in the set while senior libero Faith Rottinghaus notched 9 digs.

“They just make my job so easy and that’s incredible to say I mean we have two all-americans, and they just make my job so easy,” Sadler said.

The script flipped in the second set with the Ichabods leading early 3-0 before Kearney came back to tie it at seven. Washburn took off again, forcing the Lopers into mistakes and playing strong offense, taking a commanding 18-12 lead. Kearney would come back within two points, forcing the Ichabods into a timeout. Washburn would do just enough after the timeout to once again leave with a 25-22 victory. Maxwell led the way with four kills in the set and Sadler contributed another 11 assists.

This time around the two teams were stuck together from the jump, splitting the first 12 points of the set. The Ichabods would break away, scoring four in a row to take control of the set. Another run of three points in a row from a collection of front-line players would push the lead to six points at 15-9. The Lopers would stay close as the set drew to a close, making it a two-point set before a Washburn timeout. Out of the timeout, each team would trade three points each, making it 24-22 before another timeout from the Ichabods. Three hits later a kill from senior outside hitter Genna Berg would end the set at 25-22 again.

Maxwell led the way for the Ichabods with 12 kills while Gordon and senior middle blocker Sydney Fitzgibbons added nine and ten kills respectively. Behind them Rottinghaus led the way with 22 digs while Sadler finished with 40 assists and nine digs. It was a senior sweep for the lead in each category, something that is not rare for the team this season.

“I’m the one that’s benefiting from this more than anything,” said Head Coach Chris Herron on all the fourth and fifth year seniors. “I like them so dang much that I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do without them next year.”

The win moved Washburn to 17-1 on the season. Next up is a road trip to face number nine ranked Northwest Missouri State on Oct. 15.

Edited by: Katrina Johnson
Edited by Ellie Walker