Volleyball goes 1-1 on Saturday, finishes Elmhurst Invite 2-2

by Brock Borgeson, Simpsonian

ELMHURST, Ill. – Simpson volleyball finishes play at the Elmhurst Invitational 2-2 after splitting matches with St. Olaf (Minn.) and Washington University (Mo.) Saturday.

Match 3: Simpson 3, St. Olaf 2 – (25-23, 28-30, 17-25, 25-23, 15-12)

The Storm started off play on Saturday with an exciting come from behind win against St. Olaf, taking a five-setter after falling down two sets to one.

Simpson (10-11, 1-3 IIAC) came out of the gates strong, taking the first set behind a .227 kill percentage. Even with a lackluster performance in the second set, the Storm pushed it to a dramatic 28-30 finish that went the way of the Oles. Simpson stayed cold in set three, finishing with a dismal .081 kill percentage for the set.

The Storm responded with their best set of the match taking a must win fourth set 25-23. Simpson rode this momentum to take a decisive fifth set 15-12 for the match.

Devan Flohrs’ 17 kills and Abby Slack’s impressive, 35 digs were not enough for the Oles of St. Olaf (7-14).

Part of the reason for this was freshman Elisa Wildy, who continued to shine on Saturday, coming through with 15 kills and 13 digs on her way to 16 points. Jacqueline Luth matched her freshman teammate with 15 kills, just behind Tabitha Blaser who lead all Storm players with 17 kills.

Katie Kieffer put together a 47-assist performance at setter.

Match 4: Simpson 0, Washington University, 3 – (17-25, 17-25, 15-25)

Simpson had a chance to return to .500 for the first time since their 3-0 loss to Buena Vista on Oct. 1, although they were cut-off by a formidable Washington University who took out the Storm in straight sets to improve to 23-4 on the season.

The No. 8 nationally ranked, Washington Bears, showed a well-balanced attack, entering 13 different players into the match on their way to a scarily efficient .394 team kill percentage.

Caroline Dupont lead the Bears with 11 kills, while Cassie Wang and Lindsay Juriga shared the setting duties with 21 and 20 assists respectively.

No Storm player broke the double-digits mark for kills for the second match at the Elmhurst Invite. Wildy and Blaser lead the way for the Storm with nine kills apiece.

Kayla Aronow and Blaser both had eight digs to lead Simpson (10-12, 1-3 IIAC), while Kieffer served up 24 assists as the Storm finished with a .174 kill percentage on the day.

Simpson will jump back into conference play against Coe College on Tuesday at 7 p.m. as they begin a two-match home stand.