The Tabor volleyball team saw its eight-match winning streak end at McPherson College on Wednesday, but earned a huge win over KCAC contender Ottawa on Saturday for a 2-1 week and a three-way tie for the conference lead.
“Saturday was just a great match,” coach Amy Ratzlaff said. “I thought both teams fought hard and adjusted the game as it went along which makes it both fun and competitive.”
Tabor jumped on the Braves early by claiming the first two sets, 25-20, 25-23. The Bluejays didn’t trail Ottawa until late in the second set at 21-22. But Tabor captured the next three of next four points to secure the win.
Tabor struggled in the third set, trailing 6-2 at the outset. The Bluejays battled back for 12-12 tie, but a six-point run gave Ottawa enough space to ward off the home team, 23-25.
The fourth set was emotional and pressure-packed as neither team wanted to give in. Tabor eventually secured the win on a Kim Hockley kill, sending the bench and fans into a wild celebration.
“Focusing on variety and creativity in our offense helped us in the fourth set, Ratzlaff said. “I am pleased with the effort and passion the team showed throughout the match. They are a great group to coach and to watch play.”
For the match, Tabor had three players with double-figure kills: Amy Horner (19), Jessanna Nebel (12) and Olivia Duerksen (10), while Hockley struck for a team high .529 attack percentage.
The Voth and Kroeker duo accounted for 25 assists each, and Jost and Horner led the defense with 31 and 29 digs, respectively.
McPherson—Tabor’s six-match winning streak ended Wednesday at McPherson College in a 25-14, 19-25, 27-29, 21-25 loss.
Tabor dominated the first set with solid offense and stifling defense. Trouble surfaced in the second set when Tabor’s attack percentage withered to .061. The Bluejays led 4-3 in the set, but faded the 19-25 loss.
Set 3 proved to be pivotal. The Bluejays led for most of the set, including having three set points, but could not close the deal. Tabor led late at 17-16, but attacking errors squelched the Bluejays’ hope for a fifth set.
Saint Mary—Tabor started its week with a home win against the Spires, 25-16, 24-26, 25-15, 25-13.
In the opening set, Tabor attacked the Spires with .429 hitting, while limiting USM to .138.
The Bluejays’ hitting effectiveness shriveled in the second set to .065 in the 24-26 loss, but Tabor returned to its early form in the third set with solid offense and defense. The fourth set followed the same pattern to secure the match victory.
For the day, Tabor held a 10-2 advantage in service aces and a 7-2 edge in blocks.
Coming—The Bluejays are tied with Ottawa and Kansas Wesleyan for the KCAC lead at 6-1.
Tabor, 11-5 overall, will face Kansas Wesleyan at Salina on Wednesday, then travel to Nebraska Saturday to play KCAC cellar-dweller York College (1-7, 3-15). Friends comes to Hillsboro Monday, Oct. 2, with a 7 p.m. start.