Volleyball Pushes Lane to Five Set Match

Lacey Evans dig; Photo Credit: Owls Communication
Lacey Evans dig; Photo Credit: Owls Communication

JACKSON, Tenn. – The Owls volleyball team played with heart and battled back after finding itself in tight places to force their NCAA Division II opponent Lane College into five sets. Despite the effort, The W was unable to outlast the Lady Dragons to fall 3-2 (15,25, 25-23, 17-25, 25-17, 8-15) Tuesday night in the J.F. Lane Building located on the campus of Lane College.

After finding themselves behind 25-15 in the first set, the Owls came out swinging in set two to get an early 8-1 lead over Lane. Well placed kills by the Lady Dragons and mounting errors by The W, allowed Lane to get back in the game and close the gap to 12-12.

The two teams traded points but a service ace by Courtney Poole and kills by Iyana Canada and Lacey Evans gave the Owls the second set, 25-23.

In the third set, The W grabbed another early lead 5-2 but struggled to sustain it. After being tied 9-9, the Owls were unable to regain the lead in the set to drop set three, 25-17.

The fourth set started much like the previous two sets with The W jumping ahead of the Lady Dragons 7-3. This time the Owls were able to retain their lead with a hand full of kills by Abby Martin and Evans and errors by the Lane to increase their lead to 19-13. The W stayed ahead and closed set four 25-17.

The speed and intensity of the game seem to wear down the Owls and the fatigue was evident in the final set. Lane capitalized on Owls errors and landed kills to take the final set 15-8.

"The young ladies played a hard-fought match tonight," said assistant coach Brooke Carter. "The crowd was very rowdy and we stayed composed throughout the match. Unfortunately, we started off a little slow in set five and could not come back."

Offensively, freshman outside hitter Lacey Evans led the Owls offense with 22 total attacks for seven kills. She also added 14 digs to the Owls efforts.

Defensively, junior libero Sadie Mitchell racked up a game-high 20 digs and tallied four service aces and seven total attacks.

At setter, senior Mary Grace Prine led her team with 15 assists.

Other standout Owls were Shelby Jones with five block assists and Iyana Canada with 20 total attacks, seven kills, two block solos, and three block assists.

The Owls will be back in action this weekend when they travel to Conway, Ark. for their final two games of the season. The W will face Ozark Christian at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 in the first game of the tri-match then close with host school Central Baptist College at 1 p.m.