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Lindsey Wilson Volleyball in National Quarterfinals tonight

Lindsey Wilson Volleyball defeats Missouri Baptist 3-1 to move into NAIA National Quarterfinals
Next:Blue Raider Volleyball vs. Midland (NE) at 6pmCT Friday, December 2, 2015, at the Tyson Events Center, 401 Gordon Drive, Sioux City, Iowa

By Charles Balcom, Lindsey Wilson College

SIOUX CITY, Iowa - The fourth-ranked Lindsey Wilson volleyball team took down No. 14 Missouri Baptist 3-1 (25-15, 29-27, 26-28, 25-22) to move into the NAIA National Championship Quarterfinals on Friday at the Tyson Events Center.

The victory sends the Blue Raiders (35-1) into the final eight for the second season in a row and just the second time in program history. Lindsey Wilson faces No. 5-ranked Midland (NE), who defeated No. 24 Montana Tech in five sets today.

The Spartans' season comes to an end at 29-11.

Lindsey Wilson outhit Missouri Baptist .250 to .158 for the match, but the Spartans held the edge in blocks 12-8.

Grace Blomstedt notched a career-high 19 kills in the match, surpassing her previous high of 16. Makenzie Montano matched a career-high with 59 assists.

She also recorded 59 assists against MidAmerica Nazarene (KS) in the 2015 national tournament, exactly one year ago today. Elly Burke collected a career-high 17 kills, while Eileen Acuna posted a double-double with 13 kills and 16 digs. Caitlyn Tino led the match with 22 digs, while Lauren Streets just missed a double-double with nine kills and 12 digs.

Lindsey Wilson handled the opening set with ease, but had to fight and claw for every point in the remaining three sets as Missouri Baptist, the 2015 national runner-up, found a rhythm halfway through the second set.

Lindsey Wilson started strong in the first set, jumping out to an early 7-3 lead following an ace by Burke. The Spartans slowly battled back and cut the lead down to two at 12-10. But the Blue Raiders responded from there, rolling off an 8-2 run to go up 20-12. LWC scored in a variety of ways during the run, grabbing points from kills, blocks, service aces and a pair of Spartan attack errors. The Blue Raiders concluded the set on a 5-3 run; using two kills from Blomstedt, two Missouri Baptist errors and an Acuna kill to close it out 25-15.

Lindsey Wilson dominated the stat sheet in the opening frame, holding the advantage in attacking percentage (.379 to .081), service aces (3-0) and blocks (3-0). The Blue Raiders committed just a pair of hitting errors in the frame, while the Spartans committed nine. Blomstedt racked up six kills in the opening frame alone.

Lindsey Wilson started fast again in the second set with a 6-2 lead, which the Blue Raiders extended to 14-7 later in the frame. The Blue Raiders stretched the lead to 19-11, but then the Spartans slowly but surely began closing down the gap, using a 10-1 run to trim the lead down to one at 21-20. LWC struggled on both sides on the net during the nine-point swing, unable to find a kill and close down on the block. A quick 3-1 run set up set point for the Blue Raiders, but the Spartans refused to go down quietly. Lindsey Wilson committed an attacking error and Missouri Baptist blocked the next two points to level the match 24-24. The two teams alternated the next handful of points, with Lindsey Wilson setting up set point, only to have the Spartans erase it and level the set. Finally, with the set tied 27-27, a block from Montano and Blomstedt put LWC up one and Carolynne Silva finished it off as she smashed home the winning kill for the 29-27 win.

Lindsey Wilson once again held the edge in attacking percentage (.319 to .222), but the Blue Raiders saw their attacks blocked four times in the set, while recording just two of their own. Blomstedt added another five kills in the set.

Missouri Baptist carried the momentum built at the end of set two into the third set as the Spartans went up 9-5 early. A quick 5-1 run had the Blue Raiders right back in it at 10-10. Trailing 15-14, the Blue Raiders rolled off three straight to take the 17-15 advantage, only for the Spartans to score three straight and go up 18-17. Lindsey Wilson trailed 22-18 in the set, but rallied with five-consecutive points to go up 23-22. Extra points were needed again, but the Blue Raiders were the ones fighting off set points this time, doing so on three separate occasions. The Spartans eventually broke the 26-26 tie with a kill and a service ace to win the set 28-26 and force a fourth.

Lindsey Wilson outhit Missouri Baptist again (.176 to .167), but the Spartans again out-blocked the Blue raiders 4-2.

Missouri Baptist got out to an 8-5 lead to start the fourth set, but four-straight points saw the Blue Raiders creep ahead 9-8. After an 11-11 tie, LWC rolled off four straight to take a 15-11 lead. Lindsey Wilson maintained that slight cushion until Missouri Baptist made it a one-point game at 21-20. A kill from Burke, Acuna and a Spartan attack error set up match point for the Blue Raiders. Lindsey Wilson again had trouble closing out the set as Missouri Baptist fought off a pair of match points, but Blomstedt slammed home the decisive kill to win the match.

Mallory Dillon led the Spartans with a match-high 25 kills.

This story was posted on 2016-12-02 15:38:11
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