Despite a late revival by Parkside, setter Kayla Kinzinger’s remarkable 51 assists and nine digs would command the Tritons to victory in a five set thriller.
In their second home match in as many days, UW-Parkside (15-6) (3-3) hosted the red-hot University of Missouri-St. Louis (13-6) (4-1) women’s volleyball team. The Saturday afternoon Great Lakes Valley Conference showdown at DeSimone Gymnasium in Kenosha would provide a valuable learning experience for the young Parkside squad.
“They are a very talented group that has a lot of potential,” said Parkside head coach Michelle Benoit. “They’d be surprised what they could achieve if they just have a little more confidence in themselves.”
Lack of execution defensively plagued Parkside’s ability to compete with the Tritons in the early stages of the match.
Despite rifling shots from Addie Kramer and Jennifer Johnson, the Rangers found themselves in an 11-16 hole. In the attempt to claw their way back into the game, UWP simply failed to find any consistency and would witness Missouri capitalize on their costly mistakes.
En route to a 25-18 win, Kinzinger would rack of 15 assists. On the home side, freshman outside Caroline Langer shoveled out four digs.
An improved effort at net penetration would rejuvenate Parkside in the midst of Game 2.
Middle hitter Tami Gleason’s three key blocks would initiate a 14-12 lead. However, a 10-2 run by the potent Missouri offense would prove too substantial for even a late Parkside surge.
Backed by GLVC digs leader Carolyn Holstein’s impressive nine in that category, the Tritons would capture a Game 2 victory 25-21.
“It feels great to come out in a hostile environment and grab the win,” said a pleased Holstein. “They’re front line really made if tough but we got the job done.”
With their backs against the wall in jeopardy of snapping their four-game home winning streak, leadership from setter’s Andrea Gust and Courtney Stack would keep composure for Benoit’s squad.
Featuring six lead changes over the course of Game 3, four crucial kills by sophomore right side Cassie Marx would energize a rally. Scoring six straight points, Parkside would cruise to a 25-18 triumph.
UWP’s defense would detain Missouri’s offensive attack to a putrid .109 hitting percentage in Game 3. This in large part is a testament to Johnson’s four blocks.
The lethal combination of Gleason and Marx would provide a solid front line for Parkside yet again in Game 4. Due to fundamental blocking, Missouri hitters either suffered the fate of being stuffed or inaccurately missing line shots to avoid the block.
Opening up down 11-15, the Tritons simply lacked the same intensity and execution that had generated such excellent results in the early portion of the match.
Stack’s nifty serves and ten assists would bolster Parkside’s ability to nurse its lead. Also stimulated by junior outside hitter Cassie Wilkens’ three kills and three digs, they would convert their advantage into a 25-20 result forcing a Game 5.
With the golden opportunity to take advantage of momentum, the Rangers would instead squander it and find themselves encountering a 3-9 deficit.
Highlighted by four team blocks comparing to UWP’s zero, Missouri would regain its dominance and edge out the Rangers for a 15-8 set win and a 3-2 match victory.
Gleason would come up with the dazzling overall performance of 15 digs, nine kills, six blocks, and two service aces for the afternoon. In addition, Langer would supply nine kills and 14 digs.
Gust and Stack would compile 48 assists and 13 digs combined. Wilkens came up with a solid ten digs, eight kills, and four blocks.
Missouri’s Liz Cook would rack up 21 digs and and 11 kills for the match. Sophomore Erin Higgins would add a match-high 17 kills.
Parkside would close their weekend home-stand 1-1.
Entering a two-week long road trip, two upcoming conference bouts are slated for this upcoming weekend. Friday, October 9th, the Rangers travel to Highland Heights, Kentucky to take on powerhouse Northern Kentucky University at 7 pm.
“From the beginning of Game 1 we need to have a sense of urgency and sustain it,” said Benoit. “We failed to accomplish that today.”