Blue Jays Have Eyes On A Title: SLIAC Tournament Championship Preview

24-Gretchen Durbala
24-Gretchen Durbala


Fulton, Mo., April 1st, 2021 – The nations #20 ranked team the Westminster College Blue Jays volleyball team will take on the #15 ranked Greenville University for the 2021 SLIAC Tournament Championship Friday night.  The Blue Jays are looking to repeat as champions having won last season's tournament. The match will have a first serve time of 7:00 p.m.

The Details:

When:             April 2nd, 2021

Where:            Greenville, Ill.  Greenville University

Venue:            H.J. Long Gymnasium

Time:              7:00 p.m.

Affiliations:    Westminster and Greenville are NCAA Division III institutions and members of the 
                       St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC)               

Live Video:    HERE

Greenville University COVID-19 Attendance Policy:  No Fans Will Be Allowed

Taking a look at the #20 Westminster College Blue Jays (13-2, 11-2 SLIAC):

  • Westminster finds themselves in the championship after beating the Iowa Wesleyan University Tigers in the Quarterfinals 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-20) They would then defeat the #25 Webster University Gorloks in the Semifinals 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-19)
  • The Westminster attack is anchored by Haley Menke who is second in the SLIAC with 198 total kills while also ranking third in the SLIAC in kills per set at 3.54. Eryka Wanyonyi checks in at fifth place in the SLIAC in total kills with 154 and sixth in kills per set at 2.91.  Natalie Needy checks in with 131 kills, good for ninth  in the SLIAC, while also sixth in the SLIAC in hitting percentage at .255.
  • Gretchen Durbala checks in with a conference leading 528 assists. Her 9.43 assists per set also leads all SLIAC setters.
  • The Blue Jay defense is powered by two-time, SLIAC Defensive Player of the Week Erica Schrader with 234 digs which ranks fourth in the SLIAC.  Her 4.18 digs per set is sixth in the SLIAC.  Wanyonyi follows her with 191 digs. Allie Kennebeck checks in with 150 digs.
  • The Blue Jays are led at the net by Needy who's been dominant there. Her 11 solo blocks rank second in the SLIAC, 45 block assists and 56 total blocks lead the SLIAC in those categories, and she's also first in the conference with 1.00 blocks per set.  She is followed by Menke 
  • Needy leads the team with 17 service aces good for tenth in the SLIAC. Wanyonyi has 15 service aces and Kennebeck has 14 service aces.
  • The Blue Jays rank third in the SLIAC in kills (682), fourth in kills per set (12.18) and second in hitting percentage (.187). 
  • Westminster is second in the conference in Solo Blocks (27), first in Block Assists (137) and leads the conference in total blocks (95) and is first in blocks per set (1.69).

 Taking a look at the #15 Greenville University Panthers (15-2, 11-2 SLIAC):

  • The Panthers find themselves in the championship having beat the Eureka College Red Devils in the Quarterfinals 3-0 (25-15, 25-8, 25-18) Then they defeated the Fontbonne University Griffins in the Semifinals 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-16)
  • The Panther attack is led by Jasmin Smith with 143 kills, good for tenth in the SLIAC,  Anna Finch has 134 kills.  Mia Bonacorsi is next with 125 and finally Emily Stahl with 100 kills
  • The Greenville defense is led by Chasity Hill with 205 digs followed by Bonacorsi with 158 digs and then Smith with 144 digs.
  • Greenville ranks first in the SLIAC in Kills (735) kills per set (13.61) and first in hitting percentage (.243).
  • The Greenville defense ranks third in the SLIAC with 18.57 digs per set and is third in blocks per set at 1.30.