Owls Volleyball Takes Two from Williams Baptist
FULTON, MO -- On a day that saw her become the career leader in sets played for the William Woods University volleyball team, Emily Nolte also had a pair of solid devensive outings. The senior picked up a dozen digs in each match as the Owls downed Williams Baptist College 3-2 (25-17, 23-25, 23-25, 25-9, 15-9) and 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 26-24) on Saturday.
The Owls opened the first match with a bang, running out to a 9-5 lead in the first set. Williams Baptist was able to keep it close throughout the middle of the set, before a pair of 3-1 runs put the set out of reach.
The teams were a bit more evenly paced through the second set, trading points through the first half. A huge pancake dig from Nolte preserved a long rally that the Owls eventually won to move to 13-13, but the Eagles regained the momentum with two quick kills from Emily Umbaugh and Jameea Ward and eventually took set two by a 25-23 margin.
After a solid second set on the attack for both teams - WBC hit at a match-high .484 pace with the Owls tallying a .314 mark for the set - each team ran into issues in the third set. William Woods couldn't overcome a .000 hitting mark, falling 23-25 in the third set.
The Owls snapped out of the lull in the fourth set, rolling off six straight points to open the set and jumping out to a 9-4 lead.
Williams Baptist mustered a short spurt to pull as close as 12-8 before William Woods slammed the door on the set with a 13-1 run that included an 8-0 spurt.
WWU kept its foot on the gas in the deciding set, leading 8-4 at the switch. WBC was able to reel in the Owls and tie the fifth set twice at 8-8 and 9-9, but WWU claimed the next six points with four kills, a WBC attack error and a service ace. Melanie Bonk closed the match out in emphatic style, with back-to-back thundering kills. The sophomore stuffed an overpass to take WWU to match point and hit a perfectly-placed shot for the win.
The Owls continued their roll in the second match, as Kristen Bauer and Lauren Rodewald each hit double-digit kills - 12 and 10 respectively - as WWU rolled to the 3-0 win.
Sarah Wehmeyer came up just short of double-doubles in both matches, tallying 40 assists and nine digs in the opener and 37 assists and eight digs in the second. Emily Becker had the best offensive performance of the day for either team, knocking down 15 kills in the opening match win.
Amanda Henley continued her quest to become the top digs-getter for the Owls, claiming 22 in each match to move to 2,061 for her career. She needs just 141 to catch Abby Funderburk for the all-time lead.
As a team, the Owls hit .228 in the first match and .206 in the second, holding Williams Baptist to a .118 mark in the first set and a paltry .061 in the second. The win puts WWU in firm possession of third place in the American Midwest Conference with a 11-4 league mark (18-14 overall), with WBC falling to 3-9 (14-10 overall) in the league.
The Owls hit the road for their next match, traveling to Point Lookout, Missouri, on Tuesday to take on the College of the Ozarks. First serve for the match is set for 7 p.m.