ABOVE: Kiralyah Jones, sophomore outside hitter, goes in for a spike against the Tabor College Blue Jays. Hanna White, senior defensive specialist, and Alyxandra Blaker, junior middle hitter, back Jones up to work together in an effort to defend Builder turf. In the end, Builder’s keep their title supreme after sweeping the Blue Jays. (Lex Gouyton/Staff photographer)
By RJay McCoy
Builder volleyball hosted the Tabor Blue Jays Tuesday night at Stewart Fieldhouse for a conference matchup winning the match by a final score of 3 sets to 1 with scores 25-15, 25-20, 24-20, and 25-17 notching the win in the fourth and final set.
Prior to the two teams meeting, the Blue Jays faced the Bethany Swedes losing 3-0 and the Builders went to Salina to face the Coyotes of Kansas Wesleyan losing also with a set score of 3-0.
“Tonight’s match-up was really a display of the new coaching and our girls really buying into the new program and how it’s working.”, said Jake Conrad, head volleyball coach, after the win over Tabor.
The matchup started off with the Builders winning the first set with a score of 25-15. Later on in the set, the dominance of the Builders was evident. The Builders and Blue Jays stayed neck and neck for the set until the Builders pulled away to win the set by a service ace by Kaila Harris (junior setter/right-side hitter).
With the Builders winning the first set, the second set was again neck to neck with the Builders pulling away to win set two 25-20. Stats for the second set were even when looking at both teams with total kills and total attacks. The margin of errors was pretty close with the hitting percentages of both teams improving throughout the match.
The night was highlighted by Alyxandra Baker, junior middle hitter, Kiralyah Jones, sophomore outside hitter, and Lezlee Dixon, junior middle hitter/right hitter, with a total of 35 kills.
Tabor came out hot for set three with their backs against the wall being down 2-0, never letting Southwestern put together a big run. Tabor ends up winning the third set with a match point score of 26-24. Southwestern kept up the kills in the set having the advantage but had more errors than Tabor in this set.
Going into the fourth set, both teams had made crucial adjustments.
“I think we looked fluid tonight and really worked as a unit. We looked like a well-oiled machine,” said Charity Hall, sophomore middle hitter. “I think our positivity was a huge take away from tonight’s game. Even after the third set, we kept our positive energy up and kept going to help us win.”
Being up 2-1, the Builders took advantage of the lead and went on a run to break away from the Blue Jays by a service ace by Kiralyah Jones, sophomore outside hitter, to win the match and improve their record to 16-9 overall and 4-5 in KCAC play.
“We came together and pulled out a really good team win. Hopefully, we can keep the success going,” said White.
Come see the volleyball team face Sterling College on Wednesday, Nov. 6 in Steward Fieldhouse at 7 p.m.