Volleyball gets swept by South Dakota and Denver

Becca Langys , Photo Editor

DENVER — The Western Illinois women’s volleyball team participated in two Summit League matches this past weekend, against the University of South Dakota and the University of Denver. The Leathernecks finish up the weekend with two respective losses against these teams, giving them a conference record of 2-6 and an overall record of 5-16.

The Leathernecks are a little more than halfway done with their Summit League play, which gives them plenty of time to make up for the first half of their conference play. The Leathernecks hope to strengthen their conference record in order to improve their seed placement for the upcoming Summit League Championships.

For their first game of the weekend, the Purple and Gold traveled to Vermillion to face off against the University of South Dakota. The Leathernecks were swept by the Coyotes, leaving their first match of the weekend with a 0-3 final score. As for the individual games, the scores were 17-25, 17-25 and 18-25. The Purple and Gold were led offensively by senior outside-hitter JoJo Kruize with a total of eight kills during this matchup. Following Kruize is sophomore hitter Madeline Dieter who raked up six kills for the Leathernecks. Defensively, freshman libero Gabby DePersio led the team with eight digs. At the net, senior middle-hitter Mackenzie Steckler led the Leathernecks in blocks, earning a total of four blocks throughout the matchup.

Overall, the Western Illinois volleyball team struggled during their first matchup of the weekend, giving up a conference win to the University of South Dakota.

Moving on to their next matchup, the Leathernecks then faced the University of Denver on Sunday in Denver. The final score of this match ended up being 0-3 for the Leathernecks, adding another loss to their conference record. Denver proved to be a tough opponent for the Leathernecks, with the individual game scores being 14-25, 14-25 and 26-28 respectively. During their final game of the match, Western put up a bigger fight against Denver, taking them to 28 points, and proving their determination to not go down without a fight.

Looking at statistics, the Purple and Gold were led again by Kruize, who earned a total of 13 kills this match. Following Kruize is Steckler, who had eight kills. Freshman setter Jessie Connell led the Leathernecks defensively, earning a total of eight digs during the matchup. Following Connell was junior setter Cassie Hunt who raked up seven kills for the Leathernecks. Hunt also led the team in assists, having a total of 16 assists this match.

Overall, the Western Illinois women’s volleyball team struggled during their previous weekend, setting them up at a 2-6 conference record at the halfway point of their conference season. The Leathernecks have plenty of time to improve upon their current conference record, with 8 more Summit League games left to play this season.

The Western Illinois women’s volleyball team is scheduled to play Purdue Fort Wayne on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Macomb.

Twitter: @beccalangysxo