Volleyball swept at Wright State Invitational


Becca Langys/ Photo Editor

Mariah Mitchell goes up to the net for a kill.

David Koier, Courier Staff

The Western Illinois Volleyball team lost all three games this weekend when they traveled to Dayton, Ohio for the Wright State Invitational. The team faced off against the University of Toledo Rockets, Indiana State Sycamores and the home squad of the Wright State Raiders.

Friday night saw the Leathernecks start the tournament by facing off against the Rockets. Toledo came into the match on a four-game winning streak, having not lost since their first two games of the season.

The first set began with Western coming out front 8-4. Some back and forth between the two squads, including some strong offense by the Rockets, evened up the game at 11 a piece. Three attacking errors by Western and three kills by Toledo junior Chloee Kleespies gave the Rockets a 16-11 lead, a lead that they would not relinquish. Despite a five-point rally to bring the set to 24-20, the Leathernecks couldn’t rally to a victory and dropped the first set 25-20.

Western and Toledo started the second set battling once again all the way to a 11-10 Rockets lead. A pair of both Rocket kills and Leathernecks attacking errors, and also a Mariah Mitchell kill in Western’s favor, launched Toledo to a 15-11 lead. The teams battled back and forth for the rest of the set with Toledo edging out another victory, 25-19. The third set saw another back and forth battle to begin, but this time the Rockets took off a bit sooner, earning a 25-18 victory and the match win.

Mitchell, Aubrey Putman and Riley Schumacher were still able to shine for the Leathernecks despite the sweep. Mitchell led the team in kills with 10 while Putman recorded a career high of nine and Schumacher tied her career high of six. Both Schumacher and Putman recorded a hitting percentage above .400 for the match with .417 and .400, respectively.

Saturday afternoon didn’t prove to be a saving grace for the Leatherneck squad as they fell in three straight sets to the Raiders of Wright State. The team showed strong serving efforts, recording five aces. This brings the total for the Purple and Gold to 53 on the season, which is good for first in The Summit League. Also atop the leaderboard in service aces is freshman Jessie Connell whose 17 aces, which includes her three against Wright State, placing her second in the Summit League.

Mackenzie Steckler and Elle Shult led Western in their third matchup against Indiana State. The pair had eight and five kills respectively although their efforts couldn’t help the Leathernecks etch out a win as they were swept by the Sycamores.

Putman was named to the All-Tournament team after she recorded 20 kills and 25 digs on the weekend.

The Leathernecks travel to Tennessee Tech for their final preseason tournament to take on Tennessee Tech, Southern Illinois and Middle Tennessee State on Friday and Saturday.

Twitter: thefluffy66