It took five hard-fought games to decide the winner of tonight’s match as Tabor traveled to conference opponent Sterling, losing to the Warriors by only a combined 11 points. Sterling improves to 5-3 in KCAC play, while the Jays drop to 4-4 in conference matches.
Tabor got off to a strong start in Game 1, going up 5-0 to take a lead they would not give up the rest of the game. The Warriors rallied toward the end of the game, scoring four straight points to narrow it to 21-18 and trading points with the Bluejays before junior outside hitter Jessie Vogts got the kill to win the set, 25-21.
The Bluejays couldn’t find their rhythm in the second set and struggled in their blocking, allowing the Warriors to come away with the 25-19 victory despite Tabor playing Sterling back-and-forth through the middle of the match.
In the end, Sterling got the best of the Bluejays in the critical third match as Tabor came back from an early deficit and dueled with the Warriors for the lead down the stretch. A kill from Vogts tied it, 20-20, and Tabor would take the lead twice before Sterling came up with back-to-back points for the 25-23 win.
Tabor tied with Sterling five times early in the fourth game, but it took an ace from sophomore libero Amy Jo Maphet to turn the tide and Tabor pounded it out to the finish for the narrow 25-22 victory over the Warriors.
Sterling got the early advantage in the final set, but a kill from junior outside hitter Katie Vogts gave Tabor the lead, 5-4, and kicked off the battle. The Bluejays scored six unanswered points before Sterling answered with a three-point scoring burst of their own to tie up the game again. Tabor would tie it up twice more, but each time the Warriors would take back the lead. Sterling got the block to make it 10-9 and pulled away from the Bluejays. Tabor earned two consecutive points on serves from Maphet to stall the Warriors, but in the end they took the set and match, 15-12.
The Bluejays are scheduled to play a home match with Southwestern Friday to conclude first round play, with games beginning at 5 p.m.