Tabor volleyball defeats Sterling, loses 3-1 to Friends

Brooke Holloway attacks the net against Friends Wednesday. Holloway tallied nine kills in Tabor?s 3-1 loss to the Falcons. Janae Rempel / Free PressAfter falling to Friends earlier in the week, the Tabor College volleyball team gained a 3-0 win at Sterling Saturday.

With an attacking percentage of .440 in Set 1, Tabor cruised to a 25-15 win and followed with two more, 25-21 and 25-19.

Tena Loewen led the attack with 10 kills. Megan Voth had 30 assists, and Whitney Maple had 12 digs. Katelin Horstick added two solo blocks.

Friends?Tabor lost to the conference-leading Falcons, 3-1, Wednesday.

Coach Amy Ratzlaff did not fault her team?s play in the first three sets, and praised the Bluejays? ability to string good things together.

?Sets 2 and 3 we played better than we?ve played all year,? she said. ?Tonight was the first time we did good things in sequence. I thought our passing and our defense was good tonight, keeping lots of balls alive and passing balls well so we could hit the ball. We just let our guard down a little bit in the fourth set.?

Set 1 was a back-and-forth battle at the start, and Tabor led a handful of times including 9-7 after a Katelin Horstick kill.

But with a strong attack, Friends gained separation and built a 20-13 lead. Tabor responded with a 5-1 run, including two Tena Loewen kills, but Friends maintained the lead for a 25-19 win.

Set 2 was even closer, with 14 ties. The Bluejays led by as many as three points, the final time at 11-8 after a Horstick kill. In a battle of give-and-take, Tabor took a 23-22 lead after a long volley.

Friends used a kill and a two-hits violation against Tabor to pull in front, 24-23, but Brooke Holloway answered with a kill that tied the game. With a Falcon kill and missed serve, the game was tied at 25, but Friends went on to win, 27-25.

Needing a win to stay alive, Tabor answered the call in Set 3. The Bluejays built a 6-0 lead after consecutive kills from Holloway, but Friends forced an 8-8 tie.

From there, though, the Bluejays scored four unanswered points, benefitting from two Horstick kills and one from Loewen.

Tabor led the rest of the way, and built to its largest lead of the night at the end, 25-18, courtesy of a Sydney Peitz kill.

But for all the success Tabor found in Set 3, the tables turned in Set 4. This time the Falcons built a 5-1 lead and never looked back.

With Tabor struggling to respond, Friends burst to a 10-point, 18-8, advantage. Tabor scored only once after that, as Friends won, 25-9.

?There?s a different game-plan against Friends,? Ratzlaff said. ?They play a different system than a lot of the other teams. Up until now, I feel like the team had kind of played a game-plan, but tonight during Sets 1, 2, and 3, they played our game-plan against Friends, and that was very helpful. Fourth game, we just didn?t use the game-plan.?

Loewen led the attack with 11 kills. Horstick added 10. Kelsea Brittain had 24 assists; Megan Voth had 22. Whitney Maple contributed 25 digs.

Coming?Tabor (5-3, 8-12) travels to Bethany (0-8, 3-14) tonight for a 7 p.m. game and will host Southwestern (1-9, 4-14) Friday at 7 p.m.

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