Rottinghaus digs to top of record books in Washburn volleyball loss


Derek Blanchard

Ten Washburn volleyball seniors pose for a photo after their match on Nov. 13, 2021. The seniors were honored on the court after the match.

After a sweep the night before Washburn volleyball needed just one victory to clinch a share of the MIAA regular season championship. To do so, they needed to defeat fifth ranked Northwest Missouri State. The match also served as senior night for 10 players who were honored on the court after the match.

The action to start was intense as anticipated with each side trading points into the middle stages of the first set. The first breakthrough came from the Bearcats who scored four straight points, forcing a timeout from Washburn. The Ichabods were unable to make up any ground after the break before another timeout was called with the score 14-17. The attacks from Northwest Missouri continued as the lead grew, and they finished off the set with a 25-17 victory.

Even in a loss the set was historic as senior libero Faith Rottinghaus made 11 digs, moving her up to first place on Washburn’s career digs leaders, with 2,480.

“Honestly, I didn’t even know, like I had an idea that I was close but I didn’t know how close so I didn’t know it was going to come tonight,” Rottinghaus said. “It’s still an accomplishment that I should be proud of and hopefully after all this emotion settles down I will be.”

The career of the fifth-year senior was put into perspective and praised after her last regular-season home game.

“She is awesome, she is so good, to be honest with you whatever kind of player she is, she is that type of student-athlete. She is that type of person. I don’t have anything but glorious things to say about that young lady,” said head coach Chris Herron.

Washburn got off to a fast start in the second set leading 5-2, but it quickly dissipated as the offense started to struggle. The Bearcats took the lead at 6-5 and did not look back, holding the Ichabods to a .071 attack percentage in the set as a team.

“When you don’t service you can’t run an offense, so when you are hitting under .100 who are you going to beat? No one,” Herron said.

In the third set it was Northwest Missouri who started fast with a 5-1 lead and forced another early timeout from Washburn. The break did not help as the Ichabods offense attacks kept getting shut down, creating a 4-13 deficit. Washburn would make up some ground to make it a 12-19 set, but the Bearcats pulled away as the Ichabods ultimately fell 16-25 in the set and 0-3 in the match.

“I think the biggest thing is we are all a little disappointed in ourselves, but at the same time we get the opportunity to play here on Tuesday,” Rottinghaus said.

Senior outside hitter Genna Berg paced the team with nine kills while senior middle hitter Allison Maxwell added seven. Senior setter Allison Sadler ended with a team-high 21 assists, and Rottinghaus finished with 22 digs in her record-setting day.

The loss moved Washburn to 25-4 on the year as they will face Pittsburg State in the first round of the MIAA tournament set for Nov. 16 in Lee Arena.

Edited by Ellie Walker, Katrina Johnson