Fulton, Mo. – The Westminster College Blue Jays volleyball team came into tonight's home contest with the Eureka College Red Devils on a mission. The Blue Jays face a scenario where they can win a SLIAC championship if they can win the last two games of the regular season. The first of those wins came tonight as they dispatched the Red Devils in straight sets (25-11, 25-15, 25-15).
The Blue Jays wasted no time in the first set rattling off the first six points of the night to go up 6-0. Two kills by Allie Kennebeck, a kill each from Claire Whitehouse and Haley Menke along with a service ace by Eryka Wanyonyi highlighted the run. The Blue Jays would hit .382 in the first set and would overwhelm the Red Devils in set one 25-11 for a 1-0 lead in the match.
The second set saw things start a little differently. The Blue Jays clung to a 9-8 lead before going on a 7-2 run to gain some breathing room at 16-10. Two kills by Whitehouse and one by Wanyonyi along with four Eureka errors led to the points. The Jays would keep the Red Devils at arm's length the rest of the set closing it out off of two more Eureka errors 25-15 for a 2-0 match lead.
The third set would see the Red Devils tie the set at 11-11 forcing a Westminster time out. Coming out of the time out the Jays would fire off five straight points to take a 16-11 lead. A Payton Bledsoe kill off of a Gretchen Durbala assist started things off and kills by Natalie Needy and Wanyonyi finished the run. After Eureka would counter with 3 points to cut the lead to 16-14 the Blue Jays would deliver the knockout blow. An 8-0 run that saw the Red Devils exhaust all of their remaining time outs but there was no stopping the Blue Jays as they prevailed 25-15 to finish off the straight sets victory.
The Blue Jay attack was led by Needy with 12 kills followed closely by Menke with 11. Allie Kennebeck continued her strong play with 8 kills and 11 digs while hitting .533. Gretchen Durbala recorded 31 assists to her conference leading total. Wanyonyi and Durbala would contribute two service aces each.
The Westminster defense was keyed by Wanyonyi and her 17 digs and Erica Schrader and her 14 digs. The Blue Jays were able to defend the Red Devil attack. The Jays also recorded eight block assists with Needy adding to her SLIAC leading total with three.
The Blue Jays will be at home on Wednesday against the Webster University Gorloks. A share of the SLIAC Conference Championship will be on the line for the Blue Jays. The big game is set for a 7:00 p.m. tip off in Historic Gym.