"I'm proud of the girls for taking what we learned against Saint Mary and Ottawa and applying it to Tabor."
If you think a 21-win season by the McPherson College volleyball team was a fluke last season then you were not at the Sport Center Wednesday evening as the Bulldogs stunned the Tabor Bluejays in Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference action. Mac won 3-1, dropping the first set 25-14 before rallying to win the next three 25-19, 29-27, 25-21.
"It's been nearly a decade since McPherson has beaten Tabor," remarked Mac head coach Jessica Cleveland. " They were receiving votes (in this week's NAIA Coaches' Poll) and we played scared the first set. But then we got mentally tough and competed."
After losing the first set to the Bluejays, the Bulldogs never trailed in the second, leading by as many as seven before winning 25-19. The third set then went back and forth, with Mac leading 21-19 before Tabor rallied to go up 23-22. The teams traded the next nine points with the Bulldogs fighting off three Bluejay's set points before pulling ahead for good and taking the set by two.
Set four looked like it was going to be all Tabor as they jumped out to a 9-5 lead. McPherson battled its way back into the game to trail 17-14 before rattling off five straight points to go up for good at 19-17. Tabor committed attack errors on three straight rallies and McPherson went on to a 25-21 victory as the home crowd erupted in celebration.
"We were a well-balanced team with Jamie(Siess) leading the back row in digs," Cleveland said. "I'm proud of the girls for taking what we learned against Saint Mary and Ottawa and applying it to Tabor. This week is full of tough matches and a true test to how we respond to every game. We hope to carry the momentum into the weekend."
Leia Seiler led the Bulldogs in kills with 10 while Morgan Little had 18 assists and Jamie Siess had 27 digs.
With the win the Bulldogs improve to 7-4 overall and 3-2 in KCAC play. McPherson travels to Salina on Friday for a 7 p.m. match against Kansas Wesleyan University. On Saturday the go to Wichita to battle Friends University in a 3 p.m. start.
Contact Matt Cole by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MacSentinel.