TC rolls to 11-1 mark in KCAC

The Tabor College volleyball team bounced back from its first loss to a KCAC rival this season with three consecutive victories over conference opponents.

Wins over Ottawa, Saint Mary and McPherson boosted the team’s conference-leading record to 11-1.

In a three-game (30-23, 30-26, 30-21) defeat of Ottawa, Lindsey Vogts led the team with 15 kills and seven blocks.

Two nights later, Vogts registered three aces on 20 serves to go with 13 kills and five blocks as the team defeated Saint Mary (30-25, 30-25, 30-26).

“We didn’t pursue the ball as well as we usually do,” coach Amy Ratzlaff said. “But we took care of that on Friday.”

The Friday night matchup was against a McPherson (10-3) team ranked second in the conference.

Tabor overcame the presence of 2005 first-team all-conference players Jennifer Marquette and Kendra Stephenson to defeat the Bulldogs in three games (30-19, 30-27, 30-26) for the second time in three weeks.

Kelsi Suderman tallied 16 kills and four blocks; Vogts, Staci Frick and Ashley McKillip combined for 34 kills and five blocks.

“We did a good job of running a variety of plays, and running them well,” Ratzlaff said. “We avoided the problem of only certain plays working. The girls did a really good job of adjusting.”

Consistency in execution, combined with balanced and varied play calling kept the team from giving up a run that might have given McPherson the kind of momentum the Bulldogs would have needed to beat the Bluejays at home.

Audrey Schellenberg averaged nearly 14 assists per game for the week, totaling 122 in nine games.

“It was good to be back home with our home crowd,” Ratzlaff said. “We had a lot of support at our games, which made it exciting to play.”

Ratzlaff also talked about the team’s focus and drive: “I finally saw the fire in the eyes of the players that we need to fuel us through the end of the season.”

With three weeks left until KCAC tournament play, the team may be peaking at the right time.

Coming: Next up for the Bluejays are road matches against Sterling (7 p.m. Tuesday) and Southwestern (5 p.m. Thursday). Volleyball action returns to Tabor Gymnasium when the team meets Southern Nazarene at 5 p.m. Oct. 20.

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