By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
The Iowa Wesleyan volleyball team wrapped up their home schedule on Wednesday night against a Westminster team that currently sits tied for first in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The Tigers couldn?t quite play spoiler against the heavily favored Blue Jays. Westminster won all three sets, 25-18, 25-16 and 25-17.
Each game played out in a similar fashion, as IW was able to play the Blue Jays tight at first, but were eventually outlasted by a staunch Westminster defense and a deadly attack from Blue Jay hitter Ashley Kistaitis, who led Westminster with 17 kills and co-led the Blue Jays with 15 digs.
IW hitter Jordan Miller was hot from the outside early. The Tiger junior had five kills in the first set loss to lead the team.
As the night went on, Lida Landre gave IW a boost. Landre tallied three kills in each of the last two sets after having just one kill in the first.
Miller finished the day with eight kills on 23 attack attempts to lead the squad. Landre had seven kills on 30 attempts at the end of the night. Sydney Ellsworth finished the game with three kills, and the duo of Allegra Collette and Hunter Clark had one apiece.
Defensively, the Tigers were led by Jenna Murphy, who tallied 14 digs throughout the night. Ellsworth added 10 digs. Ariel Smale had seven. Katie Garcia finished with six, and Gabby Smith had five.
The Tigers had 18 assists on the day, compared to 40 by the Blue Jays. Smale had all 18 assists for IW.
IW had a decent night serving the ball and finished the game with four aces. Ellsworth and Garcia had two aces apiece in the loss.
The Tigers are currently on a skid, losing seven of their last eight games. Their lone win over that stretch was to Robert Morris University-Springfield on Oct. 14. Hunter Clark and Grace Thomas each had four kills in the win to lead the Tigers.
IW currently sits at 3-23 overall and 2-15 in the conference with two road games left on their schedule.
The Tigers will be back in action at Loras College on Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. They will play in their final game at Fontbonne University on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m.