After advancing to postseason play for the first time in program history, the Tabor College volleyball team secured an opening-round victory over Wayland Baptist Saturday, 3-1.
The teams were familiar opponents; Tabor defeated the Pioneers in three sets in early September.
This time, Wayland Baptist claimed momentum at the start by earning a Set 1 victory, 27-25. The Bluejays led by as many as six, 18-12, but the Pioneers used a 6-0 run to tie the game. It was a back-and-forth battle the rest of the way.
Tabor tied the match by winning Set 2, 27-25. Wayland Baptist led by as many as five, 12-7, and built a 23-20 advantage late in the set. Tabor benefitted from four Pioneer attack errors after that to jump in front, 24-23. Amy Horner and Tena Loewen recorded kills after that, and a Pioneer error sealed Tabor’s win.
The Bluejays won Set 3, 25-23. Tabor turned an 18-13 deficit into a 23-21 lead thanks to kills by Kendra Kroeker, Loewen, Miranda Leibold, Horner and Sydney Peitz, and four Pioneer errors. A kill by Horner polished the win.
Tabor recorded its best hitting percentage (.250) in Set 4 and won, 25-20.
Leading 11-10, Tabor gained distance with a 7-2 run to enjoy its largest margin of the set, 18-12. Peitz, Kroeker, Horner, Loewen and Leibold recorded kills after that, and Tabor won with a Loewen kill.
Loewen led the attack with a match-high 21 kills. Horner added 17. Megan Voth had 29 assists. Keeley Kroeker had 22 assists. Ali Jost had 25 digs. Loewen and Horner each added 15 digs.
Coming—With the win, Tabor will be one of 32 teams to compete in pool play in Sioux City, Iowa, beginning Nov. 29. The top two teams in each pool will qualify for single elimination competition.