Volleyball secures spot in tournament final

Story by Sara Bell, Editor

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The Baker University volleyball team advanced to the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament final after defeating No. 2 seed Evangel University in five sets on Wednesday.

Evangel upset the Wildcats with a 3-0 sweep on senior night during the regular season, motivating BU as it prepared for the tournament semifinal.

Baker and Evangel battled for control throughout the match, trading sets 25-18, 22-25, 25-22, 17-25 and finally 15-10.

Sophomore Danielle French and senior Crystal Simon led BU with 17 kills each, and senior Jasmyn Turner followed with a 16-kill effort.

Freshman setter Hannah Bettge led BU with 54 assists, and senior libero Renata Dill anchored Baker’s defense with 26 digs.

With the five-set win, Baker will face top-seeded MidAmerica Nazarene University in search of head coach Kathy Allen’s first NAIA tournament appearance. The Pioneers have not lost to a conference opponent this season and hold a 25-2 overall record.

During the teams’ regular-season match, Baker took the opening two sets 25-22 and 25-23. MNU was able to bounce back, though, stealing the next three sets and the match from the Wildcats.

The tournament final begins at 6 p.m. Saturday in Olathe.