Statesmen bounce back in the Missouri Valley | Sports

MARSHALL, Mo. – The William Penn women’s volleyball team rebounded on Saturday with a four-set victory over the Missouri Valley Vikings.

The statesmen, who won in sets of 21-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-17, improve to 12-9 overall and 5-6 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

The Vikings pounced on the Statesmen early, taking a big 10-4 lead to open the contest. The Navy and Gold were unable to retaliate, trading points with the hosts for the duration of the set. A final late comeback attempt was unsuccessful as Missouri Valley won the opening set 25-21.

The second set was the epitome of a back-and-forth affair. After Annalize Whitcomb (Sr., Humboldt, Kan., General Accounting) started the set with two back-to-back aces, the two teams played 15 different ties in the set, with neither team ever succeeding in creating. a separation. Eventually, the Statesmen managed to escape, ending the set with four straight points at the end of the day for a 25-22 victory.

The Navy and Gold formed their split early in the third set, taking a 14-5 lead. The Vikings weren’t yet finished, adding six straight points to reduce the lead to 14-11. The statesmen continued another race, as Alicia Jaquez (Sr., Farmington, NM, Biology) and Corrin Lepper (Sr., Jefferson City, Mo., Exercise Science) each killed three points to help WPU to a 25-17 win.

Alyvia Johnson (Fr., Owatonna, Minn., Elementary Education) killed the opening point of the fourth set at home, but the hosts took the next four points, putting the Statesmen in a first hole. After extending the lead to 8-4, the Navy and Gold took full control. William Penn snatched eight points in a row, with Johnson involved for three kills and one block during that span. Another five-point run ensued, with Alyssa Young (Jr., Winter Springs, Fla., Biology) and Tori Combs (Jr., Cloverdale, Ind., Psychology) doing all the heavy lifting. Combs and Young had two eliminations each in that five-point run, with the fifth point coming from the two combined for one block. The Navy and Gold kept their momentum going until the end, with Combs slamming home the finisher to end the game with another 25-17 victory.

Johnson led the team with 13 kills in what was a very balanced attacking offense. Lepper was second on the team with nine, while Young had eight. Combs finished seven times on the night and Morgan Sanders (Fr., Lee’s, Summit, Mo., Biology) mixed for six.

Whitcomb got the start and had 17 assists in the contest, but Macy Bailey (Jr., Bondurant, Iowa, Sports Management) led the team with 19. Both passers had three aces serving in the game.

Johnson and Rebekah Eaves (Sr., Farmington, NM, Biology) tied for the team lead with 11 digs. Bailey and Caidince Cleveland (Fr., Bettendorf, Iowa, General Accounting) finished with nine each.

“I was proud of the rebound and the fighting that our daughters showed today,” said head coach Aleesha Cleaver. “We got better with each set and really started to come off in the fourth set. We need that confidence and that momentum for Tuesday.”

Next Up: The Statesmen have a big rivalry game on Tuesday as the No.24 Grand View Vikings enter the PAC for a showdown with Heart. The first service is scheduled at 7 p.m.


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Joseph D. Whitman

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