The Baker Orange

Volleyball splits weekend at MNU Tournament

Story by Hayley Morrical, Writer

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The Baker volleyball team brought back two wins and two losses from the MidAmerica Nazarene University tournament Sept. 26-27.

Sophomore setter Hannah Bettge has an idea of what may have led her team to mixed results.

“(Our weakness is) consistency. We have times where our hitting is on and the passing is off and the next game our hitting is off and our passing is on,” sophomore Hannah Bettge said.

Friday showed success for the ‘Cats, who won both matches, while Saturday, BU dropped two matches, ending its nine-game winning streak.

Bettge doesn’t think the game statistics tell the whole story of the Cats’ performance Saturday.

”I honestly felt we played better the second day even though we didn’t win,” Bettge said. “We just played a lot better caliber teams. We played well, especially against Park.”

During its first match of the tournament, Baker took on College of the Ozarks, winning in four sets, 25-16, 21-25, 25-20, 25-14.

This match yielded the highest kill statistics for the Wildcats over the weekend. Senior Shannon McCarty and junior Natalie Minchow led the team with 10 kills each. Minchow kept her kill percentage to an impressive .471.

Defense also stayed strong against the Bobcats. Both senior libero Sara Slater and freshman Kallie Fischer earned double digit digs at 17 and 12, respectively. The ‘Cats also picked up 6 total blocks.

The defense stayed tough in the second match against Oklahoma City University, helping Baker win in four sets, 25-14, 18-25, 27-25, 25-14. Slater once again led the fight against opposing team’s offense with 22 digs.

Baker’s offense varied throughout the sets during this match with hitting averages ranging from a strong .462 to .13.

Sophomore Elizabeth Arnold was the only one able to break the double-digit mark in kills. However, Bettge put up 39 assists, leaving her average assists per game at 7.83 and season total of 540.

Saturday presented a challenge to the team. During the first match against the Grandview University Vikings, the ‘Cats lost in four close sets, 26-24, 22-25, 21-25, 21-25. Standing out in the kills column was sophomore middle Haleigh Offield with 15.

In the last game of the tournament, Baker took on undefeated, nationally ranked Park University, 21-25, 22-25, 18-25. Park University is currently ranked third in the nation in kill percentage and aces per game. No Baker women were able to create double digit digs or kills. Dig leaders were Fischer and Bettge, each with 7.

Along with a record of 2-2 on the weekend, the ‘Cats are also bringing back the all-tournament MVP, Bettge.

“I was excited to hear (about the MVP honor) because there was the number four team there. It’s surprising to hear I got MVP over some of those girls,” Bettge said.

This week will be a busy and challenging one for the now 13-6 team, as it plays Benedictine College Tuesday in Collins Center and last season’s conference champions, MidAmerica Nazarene University, Thursday in Olathe.

“We are going to keep working hard in practice and fixing those kinks we have on the team,” Bettge said. “I think we played well this weekend and fought hard. We have a long week ahead of us.”