The Baker Orange

Volleyball team falls to MNU in tournament final

Story by Sara Bell, Editor

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After MidAmerica Nazarene University cut the Wildcats’ season short for the last two years, the Baker University volleyball team hoped to change the trend during the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament final on Saturday.

During the opening set of the championship match, Baker seemed to have the momentum against a team that’s only lost one conference match in the last three years. The eighth-ranked Pioneers bounced back, though, taking their third straight tournament crown in four sets.

Senior Crystal Simon led the Wildcats offensively in the first set, grabbing four of her team-high 12 kills in the match opener. Her performance helped BU take the first set 25-17, but MNU took control for the remainder of the match, claiming the next three sets 25-19, 25-17 and 25-15.

Baker struggled serving throughout the match, missing a season-high 11 serves. MidAmerica Nazarene also found the holes in the Wildcats’ defense as the Pioneers compiled 62 kills to the Wildcats’ 42. Senior Linjun Ji saved her best performance of the season for Baker, posting 19 kills and 14 digs.

The second-place finish in the HAAC tournament marked the final game for seniors Renata Dill, Jasmyn Turner, Cami Williams and Simon.

Simon led the Wildcats this season with 287 kills and Turner recorded the third most kills with 263. Dill held down Baker’s back row, posting a team-high 556 digs.

With the loss, Baker finished the season at 23-9 and had a 7-2 conference record during the regular season.

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