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LWC Volleyball gets pair of wins on Senior Day

By Kyrin Mayfield

The Lindsey Wilson volleyball team grabbed two victories at the Biggers Sports Center during senior day on Saturday. The Blue Raiders defeated Life (Ga.) 3-1 and then celebrated the two seniors on the team, Peyton Johnston and Autumn Proctor, prior to the four-set win over No. 24 Indiana University Kokomo.

It was the Blue Raiders' second win against Life this season and the second time Lindsey Wilson defeated a ranked opponent.

Match 1: Lindsey Wilson - 3 | Life - 1 (25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 25-18)
A 5-0 start by Lindsey Wilson, with two kills from Proctor, set the tone for game one. LIfe trailed the for the duration of the set and could not get within one point. Four of the Blue Raiders' first eight points came from the hands of Proctor as the senior played a big role in Lindsey Wilson's dominant start. Camryn Rich's ace gave the Blue Raiders their largest lead of the set at 17-9.

At that point, the Running Eagles woke up with a 7-1 run that trimmed Lindsey Wilson's lead to 18-16. Three kills by Lena Pucnik had Life right back in contention to win the set. However, five errors by the Running Eagles allowed the Blue Raiders to pull ahead and win 25-19.

Lindsey Wilson had a similar dominant start to the second set, as the Blue Raiders outscored Life 6-1 at the beginning with five of those points coming from Running Eagle mishaps. Life started to reel Lindsey Wilson back in, as four kills and two aces brought the Running Eagles within a single point at 9-8.

Alix Stoermer caught fire to assist the Blue Raiders in a 5-0 run that gave the team some cushion over Life with a lead of 14-8. Lindsey Wilson maintained that lead for a set victory of 25-16.

After recording a hit percentage below .100 in each of the first two sets, the Running Eagles improved their attacking in set three. Life got on the board first and went score-for-score with the Blue Raiders early on, as neither team could break ahead by more than two points.

With Lindsey Wilson down 18-17, the Running Eagles broke away on a 4-0 run thanks to two kills by Morgan Furness. Life reached set point with a 24-18 advantage, but the Blue Raiders were not going to give up so easily. Lindsey Wilson fought for point after point and got within one at 23-24 after three-straight attacking errors from the Running Eagles. Unfortunately, Caitlyn Neal forced a spike to the ground to give Life the 25-23 set win.

The fourth set saw the Blue Raiders strike fast early on. Proctor notched a pair of kills to propel Lindsey Wilson out to a 5-0 lead. Life did claw its way back late in the set to 19-17, but the Blue Raiders stepped on the gas and finished the Running Eagles off by taking set four 25-18.

Alexis Smith led the way for Lindsey Wilson with 11 kills. Radaisy Valdez also reached double digits in the kill column with 10.

Rich amassed 37 assists and 17 digs for her sixth double-double of the season. Abby Grubbs performed spectacularly on the back row with a career-high 22 digs.

Match 2: Lindsey Wilson - 3 | IU Kokomo - 1 (27-25, 23-25, 25-16, 27-25)
Set one was an indication that these were two evenly-matched teams. The squads traded points early on, but the Blue Raiders found some room over halfway through with a lead of 18-14. IU Kokomo started to eat into the deficit and eventually tied the set at 22. Both programs stayed within one point of each other until an attacking error by the Cougars' Morgan Weir gave Lindsey Wilson the opening-set win.

In set two, IU Kokomo edged out an early 14-7 lead with the hopes of evening the match at one set each. The seven-point advantage was maintained until the Cougars were ahead 19-12 when the Blue Raiders surged back on a 9-0 run. Four errors from IU Kokomo assisted in Lindsey Wilson taking a lead of 21-19. However, the Cougars outscored the Blue Raiders 6-2 for the remainder of the second set and won in 25-23.

IU Kokomo rolled that momentum into the third set with a 7-4 lead to begin. Two Alix Stoermer kills aided Lindsey Wilson in tieing the set at 8-8, and the Blue Raiders took control from there by scoring nine of the next 11 points to possess a lead of 17-10. The Cougars could not get within five of Lindsey Wilson the rest of the way, and the Blue Raiders won set three 25-16.

Needing to take the final two sets to win the match, IU Kokomo fought hard early to start the fourth set and went ahead 8-4. Again, Lindsey Wilson closed the gap. Kills from four different Blue Raiders had the squads even at 10 points each. The set was tied again at 18 points when Lindsey Wilson recorded four errors to elevate the Cougars to a 23-18 lead.

The Blue Raiders called a timeout to draw up a plan, and that plan worked. Madison Bidwell took over, as her three kills combined with three IU Kokomo attack errors gave Lindsey Wilson match point at 24-23. The ensuing four points were traded between the teams when another attacking error by the Cougars sealed the set and match in favor of the Blue Raiders.

Smith racked up the most kills for Lindsey Wilson for the seventh time in the past nine matches with 14. Valdez was close behind with 13, and Bidwell acquired a respectable 12.

Rich garnered a season-high 48 assists, and Lauren Larzelere received a season-high as well with 29 digs.

Lindsey Wilson hits the road one last time in the regular season with a match in Henderson, Tenn., against Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) on Monday at 7 p.m. CT.

This story was posted on 2021-03-28 08:23:50
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