By Dalton Carver
The Lady Moundbuilders came out hard against a tough Ottawa team last Saturday, but ended up falling a bit short, losing the match 3-1.
“I felt that we came out strong, but couldn’t stay in a consistent, competitive run,” said Kaley Rodriguez, junior defensive specialist.
Southwestern took the lead early in the first set, but couldn’t maintain it, and dropped the first set. The resulting score was 25-19, with Ottawa taking their first victory of the afternoon.
The second set was livelier with two aces by Rodriguez, giving the team a bit of life. However, Ottawa took the lead early, and the Moundbuilders just weren’t able to recover. Southwestern ended up losing the second set as well, by the same score of 25-19.
Southwestern responded well in the third set, taking a quick lead. A combined total of five aces were served up, two by Tiffany Richter, freshman offensive hitter, two by Taylor Hallmark, sophomore defensive setter, and the final by Rodriguez. Despite a close call, the Moundbuilders maintained their lead to take the third set, 25-23.
The two teams traded points throughout the fourth set, keeping it close or tied until the very end. Southwestern’s point total was supported by two aces, served by Hallmark and Kaitlynn Munoz, freshman setter. Southwestern eventually relinquished the tie, and dropped the set by a meager two points. Ottawa took their third and final set 25-23.
“Overall, we played well,” said Rodriguez. “We just have to push a little more to get the win.”
“I thought the game went pretty well,” said Alyx Ellsaesser, freshman offensive hitter. “Granted, there were a few spots where we let down for a little bit, but we didn’t just roll over and die.”
Despite the loss, the team has improved since the beginning of the season. “Coach said our hitting was at one of its highest points this season,” Ellsaesser said. “On top of that, our back row was passing their tails off and doing an amazing job.”
“Our hitters have improved tremendously, with their percentage being the highest it’s been all season,” Rodriguez said, agreeing.
The Lady Moundbuilders fall to 3-20 overall and 1-12 in conference play. They host Kansas Wesleyan in the annual “Dig Pink” game Oct. 18, with first serve at 7 p.m.
Dalton Carver is a freshman majoring in communication. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.