Crusaders Pull Away Late in Five-Set Win over Yellow Jackets

Crusaders Pull Away Late in Five-Set Win over Yellow Jackets
BEREA, Ohio – The Capital University women's volleyball team ended its regular season on a strong note, taking away a 3-2 (25-18, 25-21, 18-25, 19-25, 15-7) win against Baldwin Wallace University at Ursprung Gymnasium. Saturday's win also helped them clinch their spot in the upcoming Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament.

Three Crusaders attackers finished the match with 10 or more kills while four different members of the team registered at least 15 digs in the win.

Leading the way offensively for Capital (11-19 overall, 3-6 OAC) was sophomore Hannah Ewart (Wichita, Kan.). She put down 13 kills on 42 attempts and committed just three errors for a match hit percentage of .238.  Joining her in double-digit kill totals were teammates Kristin Bender (12) and LeAnna Cotton (11).

Tied going into the final set, Capital jumped out to an early two-point advantage before the Yellow Jackets fought back to tie the set at five. Cotton then put down back-to-back kills to start a small swing in the momentum that was aided by Ewart. Up 9-7, Bender put down another kill to generate a three-point advantage and then struck again two points later to push the lead to 11-7. Baldwin Wallace (15-14, 3-6 OAC) was unable to recover and committed three straight attack errors, with the final one coming from a game-ending block by Bender and Courtney McCracken.

The win helps the Crusaders solidify their placement in the 2014 OAC Volleyball Tournament. They have earned the No. 6 seed in the eight-team tournament and will head to rival Otterbein University for their first-round matchup. First service is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Senior Kelly Leonard (Cincinnati, Ohio) extended her already-impressive career numbers with a team-high 28 digs on Saturday. In last week's loss to Heidelberg, she both eclipsed 1,500 digs in her career and surpassed Andrea Fetch '00 for fifth all-time in Capital history (1,524). She expanded that mark and now has 1,553 career digs and is 26 digs away from tying Hollie Miller '97 for fourth all-time. She is also now fifth in the Capital record books in single-season digs (650).

In each of its winning sets, Capital hit better than 21 percent and committed fewer than five errors. As a team, they finished hitting .171 to Baldwin Wallace's .170 mark. The battle at the net was fairly even, as well. The Yellow Jackets had eight total blocks, though five were of the solo variety. Capital put together five total blocks, all coming by way of shared blocks.

McCracken (19) and Katie Weilbacher (13) joined Leonard in double-digit digs on the night.

Weilbacher achieved a double-double by also posting 46 assists in the winning cause.