Volleyball splits over weekend


Justin Toumberlin

Juniors Taylor Bell (left) and Jillian Hardeman attempt to block a hit by a Central Methodist player. Hardeman deflects the ball enough for the point to count for Central Methodist.

The Baker University volleyball team had a busy weekend as the Wildcats traveled to Lamoni, Iowa to take on the Graceland University Yellowjackets on Friday. On Saturday the Wildcats traveled to Peru State to take on the Bobcats.

The Wildcats came away with a victory against Graceland after a thrilling five set battle. The first set was a back and forth affair as the Wildcats led early before the Yellowjackets went on a 6-0 run. Late in the set Baker led 21-20 before Graceland went on another run to take set one 25-21. The Wildcats dominated the second set going on a 10-2 run to bring the score to 20-12 before the Wildcats came claimed the set two victory.

Set three was a back and forth affair as both teams were tied 20-20 before the Yellowjackets pulled off the win after taking five of the next six points. Graceland now held a 2-1 lead over the Wildcats going into a must win set four for the Wildcats. Baker would end up sending the game to a decisive set five after winning set four 25-23. In the deciding fifth set, the Wildcats came out with a strong lead before the Yellowjackets went on a run of their own and brought the score to 13-11. Baker capitalized on two errors by Graceland to come away with the fifth set with a 17-15 win.

Freshman Taylor Kile and Senior Makaila Garcia led the Wildcats with a combined 17 and 16 kills respectively. Nicole Johnson led all players on the day with 34 digs to lead the Wildcats to the win over the Yellowjackets.

The Wildcats had a short turn around as the next day they faced another conference foe in the Peru State Bobcats. The Wildcats jumped out to a huge lead in the first set leading 12-4. The Bobcats slowly fought their way back in and eventually led 24-23 before Baker scored the following three points to win the first set. The second set was a competitive back and forth affair but the Bobcats went on a late 6-0 run to take a 24-19 lead before eventually winning the second set to even the game at 1-1.

The third set was once again a close set with Baker leading 24-22 late before the Bobcats earned a few points back to take a 25-24 lead. Teams then went back and forth, as the winner must win by two, before Peru State won the set 32-30. The Bobcats kept their momentum going in the fourth set holding a strong lead before the Wildcats tied the game at 14 midway through the fourth set. Taylor Kile led the Wildcats to the victory in set four after a kill and a service ace to make the score 25-23 and to send the game to a decisive fifth set. The decisive fifth set did not go the Wildcats way as the Bobcats held the lead throughout and took the set 15-11.

The weekend split brings the Wildcats record to 10-17 and 4-7 in Heart of America Conference play before heading to Olathe to play MidAmerica Nazarene on Oct. 15 at 7 p.m.