RICHMOND, Ind.-Earlham volleyball begins their conference schedule undefeated after four close sets with the Manchester University Spartans.
In three sets, Earlham had to come from behind to earn their match win. Early in the first set the Quakers fell behind eight points and many people thought the set was all but over. The problem was not that Earlham's offense was not producing, rather that Manchester's defense was excelling. Their back row was very engaged and returning some hard hits by the Quaker offense. Although they were down, Earlham did not panic and took it one play at a time. They were able to gain their edge by capitalizing off of Manchester mistakes and really swinging at the ball with unreturnable kills. After a nine point run by the Quakers that put them up by two,they closed it out 25-20, Earlham.
Set two the Quakers just let the game get away from them after trading points back and forth with the Spartans. A lapse in Earlham's defense kicked off a five-point Manchester run, but Quaker errors sustained it. The Spartans would end up winning 25-20.
Long point runs were a staple of this match. Each set it was not uncommon for each team to go on six-point runs. Earlham had an upper hand because they refocused their energy and cleaned up their play more quickly than the Spartans in these scenarios.
Earlham won offensively, finishing the match with a team kill percentage of .185 to Manchester's .179. Juila Stewart and Ashleigh Burton tied for the lead in kills with 14 each. Earlham also finished the match with seven service aces. Three different Quakers had two aces each, many of which were earned in the third and fourth sets. Manchester won at the net though, recording 11 blocks which is six more than Earlham talied.
For more information about Earlham women's volleyball, visit the online home of Earlham College athletics at www.GoEarlham.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Earlham athletics news by following Earlham Quakers on Facebook (Earlham Quakers Athletics), Twitter (@EarlhamQuakers), and Instagram (EarlhamQuakers).