Fulton, Mo. – The Westminster College Blue Jays volleyball team came into tonight's game riding the back of a four-game winning streak. The Blue Jays ended the night seeing that winning streak grow to five with a 3-1 victory over Iowa Wesleyan University in Historic Gym (25-11, 23-25, 25-13, 25-17).
The first set of the night saw the Blue Jays seize control off of a kill by Eryka Wanyonyi off of an assist by Erica Schrader to make the score 18-6. From there the Jays would cruise to a 25-11 win after a Haley Menke kill ended it.
The second set saw a reversal of fortune for the two teams from the start as the Tigers jumped out to a 13-4 lead before the Blue Jays would mount a comeback. Two kills by Wanyonyi and two kills by Payton Bledsoe helped the Blue Jays cut the Iowa Wesleyan lead to 14-10. Iowa Wesleyan would then make their own run to push their lead back to a commanding 24-16 lead one point away from winning the second set. The Blue Jays would then reel off seven straight points to cut the lead to 24-23. The run was fueled with kills by Wanyonyi and Bledsoe and three service aces by Natalie Needy. Just when the Jays seemed to have all the momentum an attack error ended the set in favor of IWU 25-23 and tied the match 1-1.
The Blue Jays kept the momentum they had gained at the end of the second set and jumped out to a 6-0 lead to start after Wanyonyi put away another kill off a Gretchen Durbala assist. The Blue Jays would maintain a large lead the rest of the set and won 25-13 to give Westminster a 2-1 set lead and control of the match.
The fourth set would be a back and forth affair early. With the Jays clinging to a two point lead at 14-12 Westminster would use kills by Needy and Wanyonyi to key a 4-0 run that would see them take control of the set 18-12. Kills by Wanyonyi and Menke would help the Jays close out the set and match 25-17.
Wanyonyi had a tremendous game on the attack as she recorded a match high 18 kills. She was followed by Needy with 9 kills. Wanyonyi hit .310 while Needy hit a blistering .533. Durbala, once again, led the Blue Jays with 39 assists followed by Erica Schrader who tallied a season high seven assists for her. Needy led the way with a game high 4 service aces. The Blue Jay defense was led by Allie Kennebeck with 11 digs followed by Durbala with 10, Schrader and Wanyonyi with 9 digs atteach.
The Blue Jays outhit the Tigers .216 to .027. The Blue Jays also recorded a season high in service aces with nine.
The win moves the Blue Jays record to 5-0 overall and 5-0 in the SLIAC. Westminster maintains it's hold on first place in the SLIAC. The Blue Jays will be back in action this coming Saturday when they travel to Eureka College for a 3:00 p.m. first serve.