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Volleyball - Sat, Sep. 2, 2017

Red Lions go 2-1 in Monmouth this Weekend.

Monmouth, IL – The Red Lions (5-4) would take their talents to Monmouth College this weekend where they found themselves pitted against Monmouth College, Principia College, and Iowa Wesleyan University. The Red Lions would perform well going 2-1 on the weekend which concluding a five game week on a high note.

Game One | @ Monmouth College – Friday @ 7:00 PM

Set One

A theme in recent games for the Red Lions is getting off to a slow start. This would continue through the entire first set against the Scots (0-1) of Monmouth College. The Red Lions would spot the Fighting Scots a 5 point lead early and couldn't overcome the deficit and fell 25-20.

Set Two

The Red Lions would break the mold and start the second set much stronger. Kristina Nichols (SR/Newark, IL) would give the Red Lions a boost from the OH position. The Red Lions would begin to move quicker and more efficiently to find the Monmouth defensive openings. Red Lions would prevail convincingly 25-18.

Set Three

Building on the momentum they created for themselves in set two, the Red Lions would continue their strong play in set three. Melissa Swartz (JR/Lexington, IL) was very solid from the outside and Maliah Feller-Blakemore (SO/Quincy, IL) was in a groove which paced the offense nicely. The Red Lions displayed solid defense and made it very difficult for Monmouth to find a rhythm. We would take the set 25-18 and go up 2-1 in the match.

Set Four

The Red Lions and Fighting Scots were locked in a tight one throughout the majority of the fourth set. Both teams would trade point for point and run for run. The Red Lions would dig a little deeper late in the set and it proved to be the difference. A couple of Fighting Scots' errors and stellar play from Hannah Trexler (SR/Lincoln, IL) in the back row and Katie Dial (SR/Havana, IL) in the middle would be too much as the Red Lions would win 25-22, and take the match 3-1.

 

Game 2 | vs. Principia – Saturday @ 10:00 AM

Set One

The Red Lions (4-3) would show their tired legs in the first set of the day. Principia College (1-0) would open their season up on the right foot. The tempo of the first set was controlled by the Panthers as they displayed some scrappy play and made it difficult for the Red Lions to build any momentum. The Panthers built an early lead and the Red Lions would scrap and claw their way back in the set, but couldn't get over the hum falling, 25-23.

  

Set Two

After some time to mull it over and listening to Coach Geosling the girls came out like a different team in set two. The tempo of play favored the Red Lions. Southpaw, Katie Kerr (FR/Heyworth, IL) would prove to be the difference in the set, as she was able to find the holes in the Panther defense. Maliah Feller-Blakemore would continue to put the ball on time and on target for the Red Lions offense which led to a 25-23 set win.

 

Set Three

Errors were the ultimate difference maker throughout this set. The Red Lions struggled early with uncharacteristic attacking and service errors. Spotting the Panthers an early lead the Red Lions would attempt to make a comeback, but were unsuccessful. The Red Lions would fall 25-18.

Set Four

The ability to overcome errors in previous sets would help keep the Red Lions hopes of extending the match to a fifth set. The Red Lions would get back to the basics and it forced a back and forth set through its entirety. Ultimately the Red Lions seemed to run out of gas from comeback attempts in the earlier sets and fell 26-24 and lost the match 3-1.

 

Game Three | vs. Iowa Wesleyan University @ 12:30 PM

Set One

Playing their fifth game in five days, tired and soreness were imminent. However, the Red Lions would prove that to be false. Up against the Tigers of Iowa Wesleyan University (0-1) the Red Lions opened the match energized and rejuvenated. The pace of play and attack prowess would favor the Red Lions throughout the entire set. The set was very nip and tuck before the Red Lions closed the set strong to win, 25-23.

Set Two

The Red Lions wasted no time getting off to a quick start in this set. Everyone was on the same page as the offense and defense flowed smoothly. They built an early lead and never looked back. Their most convincing win of the year the Red Lions would take the set 25-10.

Set Three

Knowing they were running low on energy the Red Lions made it a point to close the set and match. The Tigers would give the Red Lions everything they could handle. Emily Weber (FR/Watertown, WI) was a force to be reckon with in the middle for the Red Lions and it showed on the scoreboard. The Red Lions would finish the set strong to take the set 25-23 and the match 3-0 to conclude the weekend.

Coach Quote | Bobbi Jean Geosling

"This tournament was a great way to end a busy week of volleyball. We played some good teams this weekend in Monmouth, Principia, and Iowa Wesleyan. We struggled a bit against Principia because of how tight their defense was. It was hard to get the ball to their floor and the rallies were long. We ran out of gas at times because the number of games this week. Overall I was pleased with our effort. We will continue to work on some things that we need to in practice as well as play and adjust different lineups to give us a different look."

Player of the Weekend | Maliah Feller-Blakemore

The sophomore setter played extremely well all weekend. She did a great job setting the tone and distributing the ball where it needed to go on time. Maliah registered 45 assists and 20 digs against Monmouth. She followed that performance up with a 34 assists and 24 digs game against Principia. She wrapped up her weekend with a 28 assists and 12 digs game against Iowa Wesleyan University.

Player Quote

"I thought we played well this weekend. We played some good teams that challenged us in different areas of the game. We learned a lot about ourselves and the areas we need to continue to work on. At times our offense wasn't clicking like it should be. If we can figure out the timing and movement of our offense I think we can become a more dangerous team that causes problems for our opponents."

What's Next:

09.06.17 | @ Blackburn – 7:00 PM

09.09.17 | LCU Tri (Judson and Hannibal LaGrange) – 12:00 PM & 4:00 PM