Women’s volleyball to wrap up season


Becca Langys/ Photo Editor

Shiah Sanders goes up to spike the ball.

David Koier, Courier Staff

MACOMB, Ill. — After a final road trip that saw the Western Illinois Leathernecks volleyball team earn their first win since Aug. 24, the Leathernecks are heading back to Macomb this week for their final three game home stand of the season.

This Friday, the Purple and Gold will face off in a conference matchup against the University of Denver. With their win this past weekend, the Leathernecks bettered their record to 2-24 (1-12 conference record) compared to the Pioneers’ Summit League topping 24-1 overall record (13-0 conference record).

This will be a very emotional week for the few seniors on the Leatherneck squad, as they will be playing in their final games as Leathernecks in these last few matchups. The seniors on the team are Shiah Sanders, Jamie Johnson and Melanie Patenaude. Each of these seniors has had great seasons here at Western and is preparing for their journeys here to end.

This season has seen Patenaude lead Western offensively with her 202 kills. She also leads the team in kills per set with 2.20. Patenaude is going to have to be on her A game this Friday as Denver sophomore Tina Boe is a force herself to be reckoned with at the net.

Boe leads the Summit League with her 96 block assists and is fourth with her 100 total blocks. Offensively Boe isn’t so bad herself. She currently ranks in the top five in the Summit League with her .336 hitting percentage, Boe is a duel threat who will put up a fight for the Leathernecks and Patenaude. It will be a battle at the net to see who gets the upper hand when these two face off.

A defensive leader for the Purple and Gold is junior Mackenzie Steckler. While her 144 kills are impressive, that’s nothing to what she can do on the defensive side of things. Her 1.11 blocks per set sits her comfortably at third on the Summit League leaderboards in that category. She also leads the team with 94 total blocks making her a defensive force to be reckoned with.

Not only will Steckler have to face off against Boe, also Denver senior outside hitter Becca Latham, boasts a pretty good offensive resume herself. Latham places in the top five in the Summit League in three major offensive categories (kills, kills per set and hitting percentage). Her 293 kills (fifth), 3.18 kills per set (fourth), and .329 hitting percentage (fifth) are going to bring a challenge to the Leatherneck front line).

The Leathernecks first game this week is against the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks on Tuesday. The matchup against the Pioneers takes place at Western Hall this Friday with first serve scheduled at 7 p.m. Following that matchup, the Leathernecks close out the season this Sunday on senior day against the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State University. First serve on Sunday is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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