Volleyball Picks up a Pair of Victories

The Crusaders won their third straight match on Friday, defeating Lynchburg (Va.) and Earlham (Ind.) each in three sets. (Jeff Mills photo).
The Crusaders won their third straight match on Friday, defeating Lynchburg (Va.) and Earlham (Ind.) each in three sets. (Jeff Mills photo).


MARYVILLE, Tenn. - The Capital University volleyball team tallied a pair of 3-0 victories over Lynchburg (Va.) and Earlham (Ind.) on day one of the Maryville Tournament hosted by Maryville College. 

In the Crusaders' first match against Lynchburg, Capital jumped out to a 6-2 advantage over the Hornets early on in the first set. Lynchburg then rallied to tie the game at 11 points apiece, while eventually taking their first lead over Capital at 13-12.

However, the Crusaders then put together a rally of their own, finishing the inital set on a 13-7 scoring run, taking set one 25-20.

Set two proved to be much of the same for the Crusaders, as they came from 5-3 down to take a 13-6 advantage, eventually wrapping up set two with a 25-19 victory.

The third and final set against Lynchburg was the most challenging of all three for Capital, as the Crusaders built a 7-3 lead in the early going. Although the Crusaders never did surrender the lead, the Hornets managed to tie the set at 23 points apiece, only to fall 26-24 in the end.

Leading the way for Capital was senior LeAnna Cotton (Okechobee, Fla.) and sophomore Kristin Bender (Fremont, Ohio), who each recorded eight kills on the match.

Sophomores Hanna Ewart (Wichita, Kan.) and Courtney McCracken (Newark, Ohio) followed with six kills apiece, while McCracken also posted six digs and one service ace.

Classmate Mona Ratliff (South Charleston, Ohio) added five kills of her own, including two service aces and one assist.

Senior Kelly Leonard (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the team with 13 digs, while junior Katie Weilbacher (Grove City, Ohio) and freshman Caitlin McDivitt (Cortland, Ohio) tallied 18 and 15 assists, respectively.

Capital's second match against Earlham was again another three set sweep, as the Crusaders displayed an impressive performance on the court.

The Crusaders dominated in set one, 25-14, before taking set two by a slimmer margin of 25-22. As Capital headed into the third and final set against Earlham, the Crusaders managed to put together a solid run in the middle of the set to cruise to a 25-18 set win.

Leading the way for the Crusaders was sophomore Kirsten Nickles (Loudonville, Ohio), who led team with eight kills to go along with six digs and a pair of block assists.

Bender followed with seven kills of her own, while also recording two blocks assists and one solo block. Ewart also added six kills and one block assist.

Weilbacher led the Crusaders in assists with 15, while Leonard and freshman Jessica Winstel (Milford, Ohio) posted 19 and 17 digs, respectively.

With the pair of victories, Capital (5-7 overall) looks to add to their three match win streak, as they face Olgethorpe (Ga.) and Centre on Saturday on day two of the Maryville Tournament.