PLYMOUTH, Wis. (WLCSports.com) - The Wisconsin Lutheran College women's volleyball team dropped its final two contests of the Lakeland Tournament Saturday afternoon in Plymouth. The Warriors fell 3-2 in their first match of the day against the host Lakeland Muskies, then dropped a 3-0 decision to NAIA opponent Cardinal Stritch in their second match of the day.
- Final Scores: Lakeland 3, Wisconsin Lutheran 2; Cardinal Stritch 3, Wisconsin Lutheran 0
- Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (1-3), Lakeland (4-0), Cardinal Stritch (5-5)
- Location: Woltzen Gymnasium, Plymouth, Wis.
HOW IT HAPPENED (LAKELAND)
- Both teams battled early in the first set and were tied at 15-15 until the Warriors used a 5-1 run to extend their lead to 20-16.
- LU fought back within two points, but kills by Mercedes Pye (Zion, Ill.) and Alyssa Charron (Appleton, Wis.) powered WLC to a 25-21 victory in the first set.
- The hosts jumped out to an early 15-10 lead in the second set, but the Warriors battled back and scored seven straight points, powered by kills from Pye and Grace Tomhave (Lake Mills, Wis.) to take a 17-15 lead.
- The Muskies answered with a 5-2 run of their own to take a 20-19 lead, then pushed their lead to 25-24 until a kill from Britley Grulke (Hustisford, Wis.) tied the contest at 25-25. The two teams went back-and-forth in the closing points of the second set, but LU used a kill and a hitting error from the Warriors to take set two, 29-27.
- Lakeland held a 9-6 advantage after the opening stages of the third set, but WLC fought back and cut its deficit to just one, 16-15.
- The hosts extended their lead with a 7-2 run to make the score 23-17, but the Warriors answered again with four straight points, bringing them within two points, but the Muskies were able to hold on and secure the 25-22 victory.
- The Warriors came out hot in the fourth set, taking a 9-1 lead after kills from Charron, Carly Heuer (Germantown, Wis.), and a service ace from Grulke.
- WLC never relinquished its lead in the fourth set, winning 25-20 and forcing a decisive fifth set.
- LU opened the final set with a 6-1 run, and the Warriors were unable to gather any momentum against the hosts, falling 15-7 in the fifth set.
- Grulke led the Warriors with a double-double of 20 kills and 19 digs, while Pye added 17 kills and 14 digs.
- Cassidy Johnson (Germantown, Wis.) dished out 52 assists, which is the third-highest total for a match in program history.
HOW IT HAPPENED (CARDINAL STRITCH)
- Cardinal Stritch opened the match with a 15-11 advantage in the first set, then extended its lead to 20-13, forcing WLC into a timeout.
- The Warriors responded well, using an 8-1 run to make the score 21-18, but the Wolves bounced back and forced two WLC hitting errors en route to taking the first set 25-21.
- WLC jumped out to an early 7-3 lead in the second set, but Cardinal Stritch tied the contest at 10-10 after three straight kills from Mary Bowe.
- The two teams traded points in the second set and were knotted at 17-17 until the Wolves ended the second set on an 8-5 run, winning 25-22.
- The two teams remained close in the third game, with the score tied at 9-9 until Cardinal Stritch ran off four straight points to take a 13-9 lead.
- The Wolves kept the lead for the remainder of the third set, posting a 25-18 victory.
- Heuer led WLC with nine kills, while Johnson distributed 18 assists in the match.
- Cardinal Stritch hit .319 in the match while holding the Warriors to a .193 hitting percentage.
- The Warriors travel to Oshkosh next weekend for two days of play at the UW-Oshkosh Pizza Hut Classic. WLC will face off against Martin Luther and St. Norbert Friday night, then take on UW-Stout and Elmhurst Saturday afternoon. First serve is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Friday.