Tabor bounced at KWU

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Kansas Wesleyan outside hitter Sarah Claborn rifles a hit past Tabor blockers Carly Kroeker (3) and Jessica Perrault. Claborn, KCAC Player of the Year, led the Coyotes to a 17-1 conference record in regular season play as well as the post-season tournament title. Tabor had four players feted by the conference. Freshman of the Year Jordan Crosson, first-team selection Taylor Lawrence and second-team picks Ashley Cohlmia and Audrey Schellenberg received post-season awards.

The Tabor College volleyball team wrapped up its season with a loss to Kansas Wesleyan on Thursday night at Salina.

Facing the Coyotes in the second round of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference post-season tournament without first-team all-conference outside hitter Taylor Lawrence, the Bluejays were overmatched from the start.

But behind a titanic defensive effort from Clancey Kelley in the back row, the Bluejays dialed up the pressure on the hosts deep into the first game of a three-game (21-30, 23-30, 16-30) defeat.

The Bluejays denied the Coyotes the early lead and held advantages of 2-1, 3-2, 4-3, 6-5, 8-7 and 9-8. But without their primary offensive threat, Tabor was unable to build any of those advantages to more than one point.

But neither were the Coyotes able to string together enough consecutive kills to take a multiple-point lead.

Then, leading 11-10, Kolby Rhoades served three consecutive points and built the KWU advantage to 14-10, prompting a Tabor timeout.

The Coyotes posted four more quick points, extending the run to 7-0 before Tabor?s all-conference second-team outside hitter Ashley Cohlmia put away a fine feed from second-team setter Audrey Schellenberg.

But KWU kept building momentum and ran the score to 23-12, and the Bluejays were unable to mount a late charge.

In the second game, Tabor fell behind 6-11 and trailed 11-18 when Cohlmia took her second turn at serving. She put up three quick points to make it 14-18, and KWU called for time.

The Bluejays stayed close enough to make 19-23 on Kelley?s serve, but the Coyotes rattled off four straight points to put the game out of reach.

A well-placed tip by KCAC Freshman of the Year Jordan Crosson gave Tabor one more crack at the game, but a 21-28 deficit was too much to overcome.

The Bluejays fell behind 1-5 and trailed 6-16, 9-20, and 12-26 in the third game loss.

On Tuesday, the Bluejays earned their shot at KWU by defeating Saint Mary (30-26, 25-30, 30-27, 23-30, 15-11) in five games.

Tabor finished 19-14 for the season, and 12-6 in conference play. Kansas Wesleyan earned both the regular-season and post-season conference titles under first-year coach Shawn Taylor. The Coyotes, along with Bethany, will represent the KCAC in regional play.

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