Bluejays begin KCAC play 1-0

The Tabor College volleyball team went 2-2 at the Kansas Wesleyan Invitational last weekend.

After losing a pair of games Saturday, the Bluejays rebounded with a sweep on Sunday.

The Bluejays dropped 3-1 losses to Texas Wesleyan and Benedictine Saturday.

Tabor won Set 1 over Texas Wesleyan, 25-23, but lost the next three, 25-17, 25-17, 25-16. Amy Horner led the attack with nine kills. Keeley Kroeker had 17 assists. Ali Jost had 22 digs.

Versus Benedictine, Tabor lost Set 1, 25-21, won Set 2, 25-15, but lost the next two, 25-20, 29-27. Tabor hit .156 for the game.

The Bluejays turned things around with a pair of victories Sunday, defeating Bacone, 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-11), and hitting .246 for the game, including .433 in Set 3. The Bluejays recorded 51 kills, led by Horner with 15 and Tena Loewen 14.

Keeley Kroeker had 22 assists and Jost had 16 digs.

The Bluejays concluded tournament play with a 3-0 victory over Wayland Baptist (28-26, 25-18, 25-19). Tabor hit .255 in the game with 45 kills. Horner led the charge with 17. Megan Voth had 19 assists. Jost had 14 digs.

Friends—Tabor kicked off its conference season with a three-set win on the road Wednesday. Head coach Amy Ratzlaff said having just one game under the team’s belt heading into the evening made her nervous that her team would come out flat.

It did take time for Tabor to find its rhythm in Set 1, as the Bluejays did not take the lead until late in the set. However, from a hitting standpoint, Tabor’s first set was the strongest, as the Bluejays hit .324 and recorded 18 kills on their way to a 25-23 victory.

“We were losing that set because of defense, which is really not what I would call one of this team’s weaknesses,” Ratzlaff said. “Friends was getting way too many first-ball kills, and so we decided we have to get our defense as strong as we can.”

Haley Falk, typically a Bluejay defender, provided an offensive spark, recording eight kills and hitting .400 in the set.

Tabor trailed by as many as six points, and the Bluejays used a 5-0 run to tie the game at 21 late in the set. Tabor took its first lead, 23-22, after back-to-back kills.

From there, Tabor went on to win by two thanks to kills by Falk and Kendra Kroeker.

“I never really saw them panic, and I didn’t really see them lose faith in their ability,” Ratzlaff said. “I think they felt like I felt. It was like they just knew that sooner or later it was going to come around.”

The Bluejays won Set 2, 25-20, this time jumping to an early 5-0 lead and never trailing. Falk contributed three kills to a 9-3 Tabor advantage, and although Friends later narrowed the gap to one, Tabor maintained the lead to the end.

Tabor polished the sweep with a 25-19 win in Set 3. The Bluejays led by as many as nine points, stringing together a run of six to lead, 17-8. Tena Loewen contributed two kills to the run, and the Bluejays maintained the lead to the finish.

Horner tallied 14 kills and hit .290 for the game. Loewen added 10 kills. Megan Voth had 21 assists. Ali Jost had 16 digs.

“I don’t feel like anybody had a game that was anything they couldn’t repeat,” Ratzlaff said. “That was a really good feeling coming out of that match.”

Coming—Tabor (3-3) will host 22nd-ranked Ottawa tonight at 7 p.m.

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