Bluejays thump Spires, Braves

Coming off a come-from-behind victory on the road, the Tabor College volleyball team carried its momentum back to Hillsboro, defeating Saint Mary in three games (25-12, 27-25, 25-20) Thursday.

Tabor defeated Ottawa (25-21, 20-25, 25-27, 26-24, 15-8) two nights earlier. The win snapped Tabor?s three game losing streak.

Setter Audrey Schellenberg was named ?setter of the week? by the conference for posting 41 assists?31 of which came against Ottawa.

?It?s the second time she?s been awarded it this season,? coach Amy Ratzlaff said. ?She?s playing really well mentally and physically, and it?s an example of a senior taking ownership of the program.?

Saint Mary?Defeating the Spires boosted Tabor a game over .500 and propelled the Jays into a tie for fourth in the conference. Senior Ashley Cohlmia led the sweep with 11 kills, while junior Carly Kroeker and freshman Gina Hullet each had seven kills.

Cohlmia led Tabor defensively with 14 digs, while junior Audra Atwell added 10 digs.

?I feel like we played really good defense,? Ratzlaff said. ?We?ve been trying to hammer out not spectating?not watching the play?and we took a step forward there.

?Our crowd was amazing,? she added. ?I have never seen anything like it?the student section was just unbelievable.?

Ottawa?After winning the first game, consecutive games fell to the Braves. But Tabor took the fourth game in extra points, 27-25.

?We played sharp the first game, but in the second and third games, we did not pursue the ball the way we needed to,? Ratzlaff said. ?But we started to turn that around in the fourth game, and by the start of the fifth game, we were really playing strong.?

With momentum on their side, the Bluejays took the fifth and deciding game, 15-8, to complete the comeback.

?It sure feels good to win in five,? Ratzlaff said. ?I feel like we as a team have been playing better ball from Bethel on.

?So even though Ottawa wasn?t a particularly well-played game, any time you can get a win in five, that?s an accomplishment,? she added.

Freshman Gina Hullet led Tabor offensively with the highest kill output any Bluejays has produced during the season so far: 20 kills.

?The outside position is one of the hardest positions to come into, because you?re relied on so heavily, and because it takes a lot of experience to do that job well,? Ratzlaff said. ?We?ve known that Gina is the one to do it, and seeing her gain the confidence to do it…she?s a phenomenal player, and I expect to see lots of games like that from her.?

Ashley Cohlmia added 14 kills; Carly Kroeker and Jessica Dixon each added seven kills apiece.

Defensively the Bluejays had four players record double digit digs, led by Cohlmia with 18. Clancey Kelley had 18, Audra Atwell had 11 and Schellenberg with 10.

Coming?Tabor played Southwestern (25-21, 25-8, 25-19) after press time Monday, and visits McPherson at 7 p.m. today. The Bluejays host Kansas Wesleyan at 3 p.m. Nov. 1.

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