By Sam Jones
Southwestern College volleyball dominated their fixture against the Bethany College Swedes at home inside the historic Stewart Field House on Friday night.
The Lady Builders won the match in three games, posting scores of 25-20, 25-17, 25-13 against a team sitting at 3-22 this season.
“I feel like we played the best we’ve played this season. We’re coming together the way we’re supposed to. Our offence is the best it’s been. We definitely cut down the errors, so that has definitely helped us to win the game,” said Carolina Garbarto, volleyball head coach.
With the first set tied 7-7, the Swedes surrendered an 11-3 run to an offensively tight Southwestern unit. Leading the game 18-10, Bethany fought to 15-20, but that’s as close as they got before the Lady Builders saw out the game to go one up in the match.
Abby Warnke, sophomore middle hitter, said, “We played really well together as a team which definitely helps. Our communication was on point. We were talking a lot and we had a great game, offensively and defensively.”
The next game was 17-6 at one point, and the Swedes never recovered, putting the Lady Builders in the box seat to see the match out in three.
Southwestern raced to a 12-3 lead after a 9-1 run, early in the third game and once the lead was stretched to 10 points, the Swedes were unable to answer the Lady Builders’ scoring outburst and close the gap back into single digits. Southwestern went on to win that game convincingly along with the match.
Brianna Thorpe, senior setter, said, “I feel we played really good. Our hitting percentage was really high and our hitters did a really good job of putting the ball down. We also had some really good digs.”
That was the first time the Southwestern volleyball team had completed a clean sweep of a Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference opponent since a double over Bethel in 2011.
Warnke hit a career-best .615, putting down eight kills from 13 attempts, and was one of three hitters to post attack percentages above .350. Hanna House, sophomore middle hitter, finished with a .467 percentage (eight kills, 15 attempts), as well as Sarah Loesing, junior outside hitter, finished with a .381 percentage (nine kills, 21 attempts). Jenna Goscha, freshman setter, led the assists with a game-high 35 from Southwestern’s 37. Brittaney Craddock led the defence with 10 digs. Loesing also added 7 digs to her standout performance.
The Lady Builders overcame their mid-match form of late to see out the entire game in dominant form. In their previous two games, Southwestern have dominated in periods, but failed to see out the game.
Thorpe said, “We’ll definitely take away our communication and finishing for the entire match. We’ve been getting in slumps in the middle of games sometimes, but this last game proves that we can do it for the entire game.”
Warnke said, “Well Brianna (Thorpe) has played libero for what, two games now? She did an amazing job and it was her senior night so it was good for her to end on a good game at home.”
“I think we’re going to continue to work on blocking so we can get that number higher. Probably covering the hitters,” said. Warnke.
Thorpe said, “I think we’ll work on effort and just pushing ourselves to the limit and finishing the game.”
The Lady Builders now sit at 6-17 and will face Bethel away at 7 p.m. Wednesday in North Newton.
Garbarto said, “This is definitely an important win. Our goal is to make tournament and we needed this win. So we’re going to take this win and we’re going to work even harder next week so we can beat Bethel next Wednesday night.”
Sam Jones is a freshman majoring in communication. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org