MOUNT PLEASANT, IOWA - The Westminster volleyball team defeated Iowa Wesleyan in three sets on Tuesday night in a St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matchup. The Blue Jays improve to 9-6 on the season and 7-1 in SLIAC play.
The Blue Jays came out of the gates strong in the first set and jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Westminster remained in the control of the rest of the set and cruised to a 25-16 set victory to a take a 1-0 lead. Ashley Kistaitis recorded six kills in the set while Teresa Becker recorded 16 assists. Becker totaled 35 assists in the match.
The Tigers and Blue Jays traded points early in the second set. With Westminster holding a slight 5-3 lead, the Blue Jays rallied for four consecutive points thanks to a pair of service aces from Sarah Rivers and two kills from Eryka Wanyonyi. Later in the set Westminster went on five-point run to take 17-8 lead. Kistaitis recorded kills on four of the five points on this run and Becker assisted on each one. The Blue Jays won the set 25-15.
Westminster's momentum carried over into the third set and the Blue Jays took an early 7-1 lead. However, the Tigers were able to claw their way back and tie the game at 9-9. The team's then traded a point for a point before Iowa Wesleyan scored three points in a row to take a 14-11 lead. The Tigers held on to the lead until Westminster used a five-point rally to go up 22-20. Iowa Wesleyan answered with a three-point run of their own to go up 24-22. The Blue Jays dug deep and scored the last four points of the set to pull out a hard-fought 26-24 victory to sweep the match 3-0.
Wanyonyi, the reigning SLIAC Offensive Player of the Weekend, led Westminster with 15 digs and added 15 kills. Kistaitis led all players with 18 kills in the match. Her 18 kills are the second-most kills in a three set match in Westminster history.
Erica Schrader, the reigning SLIAC Defensive Player of the Week, registered double-digit digs totals for the fifth match in a row with 12 digs.
The Blue Jays play again on Saturday in Greenville, Ill. where they take on Iowa Wesleyan and Greenville.