‘Winds take step forward, step back

Marvin Holman

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Junior middle blocker Jennifer Dockemeyer powers past two UMKC defenders.-Marta Ciszewski/Asst Photo EditorDespite the way the season’s been going for the Westerwind volleyball team, Saturday’s game against UMKC was one in which everything went right.

The ‘Winds had four players in double digits in kills as they beat the Kangaroos 16-14, 11-15, 15-11, 15-10 to gain their second Mid-Continent Conference win of the season and fourth win overall.

In the first game, the ‘Winds jumped out to a 8-1 lead, but UMKC came back and would later take a 13-12 lead.

WIU came back and scored four of the next five points to take the game.

The Kangaroos jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second game, but the ‘Winds climbed within 8-7.

WIU would later get within 13-11 before UMKC took the victory.

Game three saw the ‘Winds down 7-2 early on, but they blew past the Kangaroos to take a 12-11 lead and later take the 15-11 win.

The fourth game saw the ‘Winds take advantage of a 4-0 start and hold a steady lead throughout the entire game to clinch the match.

WIU had an attack percentage of .260 for the match, a far cry from earlier matches, and a consistent team performance head coach Jolene Vinson enjoyed.

“One thing that was most impressive was that we were steady. We had a couple of moments where we were shaky but we pulled out of it,” Vinson said.

“We were very aggressive. I keep telling them that if we hit .250 or higher, we’re going to win a lot of matches, so I was impressed with our total team effort.”

Junior middle blocker Jennifer Dockemeyer had a team-high 19 kills; sophomore outside hitter Amy Lenz had a career-high 18 kills; freshman outside hitter Jennifer Brandt had a career-high 16 kills and 27 digs; freshman outside hitter Sallie Bowles had 12 kills and 17 digs; freshman middle blocker Shawna Sprinkle had five kills and seven digs; and sophomore setter Vicki King had three digs and a match-high 66 assists.

“Amy had another great match for us. She’s been one player that has been very consistent for us. Jennifer (Brandt) and Sallie had outstanding matches for us and were more consistent than they have been in the past,” Vinson said.

“Jen (Dockemeyer) was very effective and we need to utilize our middles and force other middle blockers to focus on them and that opens up more opportunities on the outside.

“Vicki did a great job; a couple of times she had some low sets but she ran a steady game for us,” Vinson added. “She made some great choices for us in crucial moments in the match and that’s nice that she’s showing leadership and her setting game has gone to another level.

” The victory over UMKC ended very differently than Friday’s three-game loss to Oral Roberts University. The ‘Winds could only muster a .075 hitting percentage for the entire match as they were beaten 15-2, 15-5, 15-6.

“You’re not going to win a lot of matches hitting like that.

We only had two or three in the positive (in attack percentage), we hurt ourselves passing and we didn’t serve very well,” Vinson said.

“I thought we did a pretty good job blocking and we slowed up some of their balls. The stats didn’t show it, but they didn’t have a lot of open shots and we had quite a few hands in their faces, so that was a positive.”

Lenz had nine kills; Dockemeyer had six kills, Brandt had five kills; and King had 21 assists.