By Lance Jordan, Sports Editor
The Lady Tritons of University of the Missouri-St. Louis women’s volleyball team faced three opponents last week in Maryville University, Missouri S&T, and Drury University to close out the regular season before the Great Lake Valley Conference (GLVC) Tournament.
UMSL women’s volleyball team faced off against Maryville University on November 8 with an attendance of 190. The Tritons were successful in defeating Maryville 3-1, extending their winning streak to three games.
Last week, the Tritons played three match ups at the Mark Twain Athletic & Fitness Center. UMSL was defeated 0-3 against Lindenwood the night of November 1. But the loss did not discourage the team as their next two games on November 4 and 5 against Southern Indiana and Bellarmine respectively saw the Tritons win each match up 3-0.
In the Tritons’ home finale against Maryville, the Tritons claimed the first set 25-18, dropping the second 25-23, but then winning the final two sets 25-14 and 25-15 respectively.
Maryville could not catch up in the first set, as UMSL sped into the lead. Maryville’s final point came from an attack error, but by then it was too late. In set two, UMSL and Maryville seemed to play a more competitive match up with no team pulling too far ahead. It was two attack errors that allowed Maryville to claim the second set. At the start of the third set, UMSL came ready to play and finished the set with an 11 point lead. The same could also be said for the final set, as UMSL finished that set with a 10 point lead.
The women of UMSL came to play. During the game Gaylnn Jones, senior, nursing, had double digit kills with 11 plus 12 digs. Madyson Abeyta, junior, accounting, had 25 assists and 12 digs and Kendall Buchman, freshman, business, had 16 assists and 13 digs. Lexi Rogers, senior, accounting, and Selena Nolte, freshman, biology, tied Jones with 11 kills each. Morgan Childers, freshman, undecided, finished with 10 kills of her own.
UMSL switched focus November 11 as the team traveled to Rolla to face Missouri S&T. A total of 367 people were in attendance that night to watch the Tritons defeat Missouri S&T 3-1, extending their winning streak to four games.
UMSL also improved their record 17-11, extending their GLVC record to 11-6. The 11th win in the GLVC is the women’s volleyball team’s most since the 2011 team, who currently holds the record of 13.
The Tritons won their first two sets 25-22 and 25-19. It was in the third set that UMSL fell to Missouri S&T 25-23. They however bounced back, winning the final set 25-21.
The Tritons’ only concern in the first set happened early on. After taking a 2-1 lead, UMSL dropped the next five points due to attack errors and kills from the opposing team. After a time out, the team kicked it into another gear to finish out the set on top.
In the second set, with the match 19-16, UMSL pulled ahead by three points, before Missouri S&T could score again. It made little difference, as UMSL won that set six points up. In set three, UMSL and Missouri S&T fought a more evenly matched game. With Missouri S&T leading 24-23, a kill by Missouri S&T allowed them to clinch the third set. In the final set, UMSL faced another more evenly matched set but it was UMSL who secured the final four points to walk away victors.
Kylie Rudsinski, freshman, biology, was UMSL’s kills leader for Friday’s game, with 14 kills. Nolte followed behind her with 12 kills and Jones with 10 kills. Once again UMSL had three players in double digit kills.
Danielle Waedekin, junior, nursing, lead UMSL with 21 digs while Abeyta and Buchman totaled 23 assists to help lead the offense. Kristen Uradzionek led the defense with six blocks.
The team’s November 12 victory at Drury, marks a five match win streak for The Tritons. As the women’s volleyball team beat Drury 3-1 on Drury’s home field, playing to a crowd of 150.
The Tritons lost the first set to Drury 25-14, but took the last three sets 25-22, 25-20, and 26-24 respectively.
The Tritons struggled a bit in the first set, only getting eight kills. The second set, however, saw UMSL rally a 6-0 lead, against which Drury struggled to catch up. Similar to the showing in the second set, the Tritons scored the first seven points in the third set. In the final set, the Tritons saw Drury attempt to catch up. In the set, Drury scored seven straight to make it a 23-21 game. Errors by both sides caused the match to go 23-23. Drury took the lead making it a 24-23 lead, but two straight errors by Drury allowed UMSL to take the advantage and end the match.
With this win, UMSL goes into the GLVC Tournament next Friday November 18 with momentum. As they face opponents McKendree at 5:30 p.m.