"This is a sweet sweep for me because I went to Friends and played for Martin Ayin."
WICHITA — The McPherson College volleyball team bounced back from a four-set loss to Kansas Wesleyan on Friday night with a commanding sweep of Friends University on Saturday afternoon at the Garvey Physical Education Center. The Bulldogs topped the Falcons, 25-15, 25-20, 25-17.
The Bulldogs (8-5, 5-2 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) opened the match with four straight points and later used a 9-2 run to build a double-digit lead. Lexi Kite had a pair of kills and a pair of aces during the run. The Falcons (4-14, 4-2 KCAC) would get no closer than seven points. In the set, McPherson racked up 15 kills with just two errors on 30 total attacks for a blistering .433 attack percentage.
After an even start in the second set, Friends used a 4-1 run to grab a 14-10 advantage, only to see McPherson rattle off four straight to tie the score. The Falcons jumped back in front 19-18, but the Bulldogs scored the next six points to earn a set point. Emily Thompson gave Friends one last chance in the set with a kill but committed a service error immediately after getting the side-out to give McPherson the set and a 2-0 advantage overall.
The Bulldogs scored the first three points of the third set and were able to keep Friends at arms-length the rest of the way. A 4-0 run brought the Falcons within three at 13-10, but McPherson countered immediately with a 6-1 run of their own to push their advantage back to eight points. The hosts did not seriously threaten the lead again.
McPherson was very balanced offensively. After posting 20 kills on Friday night, Kite was limited to just seven kills on 21 total attacks with just two errors for a .238 attack percentage. She also had 17 digs. Devrie Sombers matched Kite with seven kills while hitting at a .429 clip and also had an ace and two block assists.
Mady Woog added six kills, while Leia Seiler, Riley Bradbury and Bree Wallace had five apiece. Jamie Siess chipped in with 12 digs and Rianne Richard had nine. Setters Kaitlyn Heinis and Morgan Little accounted for 17 and 15 assists, respectively.
Friends' Madison Woody led all players with 11 kills, while Jana Boston posted a match-high 24 assists.
"Today, we were back to being a team with a high attack percentage and a low number of errors," said head coach Jessica Cleveland. "We had a lot of rallies where momentum shifted due to a big dig. This is a sweet sweep for me because I went to Friends and played for Martin Ayin. I am a coach because of him and his mentoring. I'm thankful for my roots and for the win."
The Bulldogs will go on the road twice this week to close out a stretch of four in a row on the road. First up is a trip to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, to face Oklahoma Wesleyan University at 6 p.m.Wednesday evening. McPherson then goes to North Newton, Kansas, on Friday for a 7 p.m. match against Bethel College.