Volleyball falls for only the second time this year

The seventh ranked Washburn volleyball team returned to Lee Arena this weekend to battle the fifteenth ranked Jennies of Central Missouri.

Both sides traded the first several points before Washburn was able to get a little separation with three straight points to grab a 7-5 lead. The Jennies fought back to take an 11-10 lead.

A long rally and a kill by the UCM gave them a slight advantage at 14-13, but a kill by outside hitter Taylor Antonowich tied the set at 14 all.

Tied at 17, outside hitter Genna Berg came up big with a block to give the Bods a one-point lead. A 5-3 spurt from UCM gave them a 22-20 advantage and forced the Ichabod’s to take a timeout trailing late in the set.

After cutting the deficit to one, at 22-21, a kill and an ace by the Jennies forced Coach Herron into another timeout facing set point. A controversial final point that was called in gave the point to UCM and with it a first set win 25-22.

Washburn came out firing in the second set with an early 5-2 lead. The Jennies proceeded to find a rhythm going on an 8-3 run before an errant serve slowed the run making the score 10-9.

After a long rally won by Washburn they drew within 16-13. Another scoring run of 3-1 left Washburn a 5-point hole, forcing a timeout to regroup and avoid going down two sets to none.

Coming out of the timeout, the Bod’s converted on three of four points to make the score 20-18, which caused Central Missouri to take their first timeout of the match. UCM finished the set keeping Washburn at an arms-length away to take a two-set lead winning the second set 25-22.

Washburn led early in the set at 5-3 before back to back points for UCM tied the match at five all. After a 4-1 Jennie run, the Ichabod’s responded quickly with seven straight points, gaining some separation at a 13-9 advantage causing a UCM timeout to slow the momentum.

The timeout did in fact slow the Washburn momentum as Central Missouri scored the first three points out of the timeout before a Makayla Maxwell kill made the score 14-12. UCM caught fire again to scratch and claw back into the lead at 17-16 sending Washburn into a timeout.

In a set that featured many runs, Washburn got on another one with a 4-1 run to regain the lead at 20-18. UCM snatched the lead back at 23-21 before three straight points by Washburn brought about set point, but the Bod’s could not convert. After tying the set at 24, the Jennies fired back with two kill shots to take the set 26-24 and ultimately the match three sets to zero.

Despite dropping their second game of the year, Washburn is excited and ready to finish the season in a special way.

Junior outside hitter, Erica Montgomery, says the Bods aren’t letting this loss affect all of the hard work they’ve put into this season.

“If we play hard and win these next two games, we can be conference champs and then be able to host the MIAA tournament at home, which would be huge for us. We are having a great year so far, but we are not done with it yet. We were talking in the locker room how we’re not wanting this great record of 26-2 to be the peak of our season,” Montgomery said. “We didn’t come this far just to come this far. We have a great shot of making the tournament and doing very well, we just have to show up to every game and play the way we know we can play.”

Senior outside hitter, Olivia Powell, agreed with Montgomery’s positive outlook.

Losing is never fun. However, when it happens, that is the time to regroup as a team and look forward. We have a chance to finish this season on a very positive note. I am looking forward to a week of hard work and competition in practice with my family to prepare for our last two conference games,” Powell said.

Washburn will stay at home this weekend to finish out the regular season against Central Oklahoma at 7 p.m. on Friday and Pitt State at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Their record is currently sitting at 26-2 overall and 14-2 in the MIAA.