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LWC Volleyball advances to first round bracket play

Lindsey Wilson Volleyball wins Pool D with 3-0 record after sweep of MidAmerica Nazarene on Thursday
Next: Lindsey Wilson Volleyball vs TBD opponent, First Round of bracket play at 11:15amCT, Fri 2 Dec 2016, at the Tyson Events Center, 401 Gordon Drive, Sioux City, Iowa

By Charles Balcom
News from Lindsey Wilson College

SIOUX CITY, Iowa - The fourth-ranked Lindsey Wilson volleyball team wrapped up pool play with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-20) sweep of No. 13-ranked MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) on Thursday at the Tyson Events Center.

With the victory, top-seeded Lindsey Wilson (34-1) wins Pool D with a perfect 3-0 record. MidAmerica Nazarene (28-9) finishes at 1-2 in pool play as the No. 2 seed. Third-seeded Biola (CA) also advances out of Pool D as the group runner-up with a 2-1 record.

Lindsey Wilson advances to the First Round of bracket play and plays at 11:15amCT on Friday. The Blue Raiders' opponent will be determined after the playoff matches later tonight. Lindsey Wilson will face either Missouri Baptist, Jamestown (ND), or Union (KY).

No Blue Raider reached double-digit kills, but all six of Lindsey Wilson's attacking players reached at least four kills, led by Lauren Streets and Grace Blomstedt who posted nine apiece. Makenzie Montano recorded 32 assists as Eileen Acuna and Caitlyn Tino finished with 14 and 13 digs, respectively.

All three sets mirrored one another, with the two teams trading points early before a surge of scoring helped the Blue Raiders create separation and pull away from the Pioneers before they could climb back into the set.

The two teams traded the first 12 points of the opening set to reach a 6-6 tie. The Blue Raiders rolled off six-straight points from there to take a 12-6 lead. Lindsey Wilson later increased that lead to 17-10, but MidAmerica Nazarene slowly began closing the gap down to two at 21-19, 23-21 and 24-22. A final kill from Elly Burke, her third of the set, captured the frame for the Blue Raiders 25-22.

The Blue Raiders were held to a .174 attacking percentage, but still outhit the Pioneers (.167). Both teams recorded just one block in the set, but MidAmerica Nazarene had eight attacking errors compared to four by the Blue Raiders. The Pioneers recorded more kills (16-12), but the Blue Raiders made up points with service aces from Anna-Lena Elbers, Acuna, Montano and Kaley Keating. Blomstedt posted four kills in the set.

After a 5-5 tie to start the second set, the Blue Raiders rolled off five straight to go up 10-5. Lindsey Wilson pushed that lead to 18-10, and used a 5-1 run to go up 23-11. The Pioneers fought off three set points at the end of the frame, but Montano shut the door with a kill to take the set 25-16.

The Blue Raiders hit at a .290 mark in the second set, committing just four errors. Lindsey Wilson recorded just two blocks, but the size at the net caused problems for the Pioneer hitters as they tried to go over or around the LWC block, committing 10 attacking errors in the process.

It was rinse and repeat for the third set as the two teams played close in the early goings before a three-point run by the Blue Raiders put them up 13-9. Another three-point swing later in the set put Lindsey Wilson up 21-14, the largest lead of the set, which LWC also matched with a 24-17 advantage.

Lindsey Wilson had a little trouble closing out the set again as MidAmerica Nazarene fought off a trio of match points, but Burke slammed home the decisive kill to give Lindsey Wilson the sweep.

Lindsey Wilson outhit MidAmerica Nazarene once again in the set at .244 compared to .119. Both teams posted three blocks, but the Pioneers committed another eight attacking errors.

MidAmerica Nazarene's Giselle Silva, who is second in the NAIA in total kills, led the Pioneers with a match-high 17 kills, but had to do so on 42 swings, hitting at a .286 mark.

This story was posted on 2016-12-02 06:34:48
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