The Blackburn College volleyball team hosted three conference teams in a round robin tournament on Saturday, September 15. The teams included MacMurray College, Eureka College, and Principia College. The Beavers played Eureka at 10 a.m. and Principia at 6 p.m., being delayed by the previous games, as it was supposed to begin at 4 p.m.
The Beavers and the Red Devils contributed to the game delay by taking their game into five exciting sets. The Beavers took the first set by a score of 25-21. Blackburn had 10 kills in the first set, but Eureka had them beat in that category with 11. The Beavers also had four hitting errors within their 32 total attempts, hitting a low .188 in that first set. The Red Devils took the second set by a score of 25-23. They continued to outhit the Beavers, with a hitting percentage of .226, while the Beavers hit a close .219. This was by far the closest set in regards of hitting percentages. The third set was won by the home team, with a score of 25-22. Both teams had 11 kills in the set, but Blackburn had more errors committed, with five. The fourth set was won by Eureka, 25-17. It was easy to see the home team fatigued and tired by now, leaving fans wondering how the fifth set would play out. The Beavers didn’t disappoint with the edge-of-your-seat excitement in the fifth, taking the game by a score of 15-13.
Kendall Knop and Alanni Young were two key players in the Beavers win. Young lead the team with 15 kills, closely followed by Knop with 13. Annika Ochs, Kendall Burleyson and Knop all had three service aces, and Young followed behind them with two. Ochs, the libero, lead the team in digs, with 20. Knop followed behind with 16. In the blocking category, Emily Schroeder and Kaitlyn Weigand each had one.
With their win from the morning driving them to compete, the team prepared to take on Principia, who was coming off of their win over MacMurray the game before. The Beavers were hoping that the Panthers would be fatigued from playing the previous game, but their hopes were not a reality.
The Beavers fell short to the Panthers, three sets to one. The first set score was 25-23 Principia, who hit .225, also topping the Beavers in that category, as they hit .188. The Beavers trailed in hitting percentage every set of the game, even in the set they won. The Beavers won the second set 25-20, but couldn’t find the necessary energy and points to pull it out. The Panthers won the next two sets by a score of 25-23 and 25-15, respectively. The last set was made it apparent that the home team just didn’t have anything left in the tank.
Young lead the team in kills in this game as well, with 11, and Knop followed close behind with 10. Alyssa Dougherty went on a tear through in this game with her serve, coming out of it with three kills. Burleyson, Knop and Weigand followed her lead, each with two kills. Knop had 21 digs throughout the match, followed by Young with 14. Weigand was the only Beaver player credited with a block in the game.