Volleyball team cruises past Ottawa

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Volleyball team cruises past Ottawa

Story by Sara

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After losing four of its last five matches, the Baker University volleyball team bounced back Thursday sweeping Ottawa University 25-22, 25-22 and 25-13.

The Wildcats used an 8-0 run in the first set, a 7-1 rally in the second and scored seven unanswered points in the third set to take the match from the Braves.

“Anytime you can get a run, it gives you momentum, and having momentum is what you need,” head coach Kathy Allen said. “We did gain momentum behind Savannah (Smith’s) serve and really just kept them on their heels the whole time.”

In the opening set, Smith stepped to the serving line with her team trailing 17-12. However, by the next time Ottawa had the ball, Baker would own a 20-18 lead.

During the run, freshman Danielle French had two kills and a pair of blocks.

Despite dropping the first set, Ottawa jumped out to a 13-8 lead in the second. Back-to-back kills from senior Jana Boss sparked a 7-1 Wildcat run, though, and momentum shifted back into Baker’s favor.

Boss not only led her team in assists during the match with 17, but she also led the Wildcats with nine kills.

“Jana Boss probably had one of the best games of her life,” Allen said. “She was putting up the ball for our hitters, but she was also attacking the ball … You could tell she was a force at the net.”

In the final set, Baker grabbed an early 13-5 lead and never looked back. Junior Renata Dill served for seven straight points, and Boss would then end the match with a tip past Ottawa to extend the team’s record to 12-9 on the season.

On Tuesday, the Wildcats suffered their first loss in Heart of America Athletic Conference play against Evangel University in Springfield, Mo.

Baker started off the night with an early lead taking the first set from Evangel 25-17. However, the Crusaders bounced back and took the next three sets 25-18, 25-19 and 28-26.

Allen said the team struggled defensively to match up with Evangel’s senior middle hitters Kaley Lyons and Shana Ramsey.

Lyons and Ramsey contributed 20 and 13 kills, respectively for the Crusaders.

Smith added 17 kills and 13 digs during the match, while Boss had 34 assists and 10 digs.

The Wildcats will continue conference play at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Marshall, Mo. when they take on Missouri Valley College.

Missouri Valley is 6-9 on the season and 1-3 in conference play.