Gene Cassell, Sports Information Director
LUBBOCK, Texas – Despite a rough day hitting, Washburn volleyball remained victorious as it defeated Southwestern Oklahoma State, 3-1, before sweeping St. Mary’s (Texas). As a result the Ichabods pushed their consecutive win streak to 12 matches, marking the program’s best start since 2015 when it opened with a 14-match win straight.
Collectively, Washburn was a combined .165 hitting as it tallied 102 kills, 48 errors on 327 attempts. On the flip side, the Bulldogs and Rattlers combined to hit .100 for the day, as the Ichabod defense tallied 11 blocks and dug up 174 attempts.
Makayla Maxwell had a solid all-around performance as paced the team with 24 kills and six blocks. Allison Maxwell followed with 22 kills and five blocks. Shayla Conner recorded consecutive double-doubles nudging her season total to five as she finished with 78 assists and 31 digs. Taylor Antonowich also had a strong day as notched 11 kills, 23 digs and accounted for five of Washburn’s 14 aces.
The Ichabods will return to action on Friday, Sept. 14 at Lee Arena when they host Fort Hays State in the MIAA opener.
Washburn 3, SW Oklahoma 1 // 24-26, 25-18, 25-20, 25-16
In spite of hitting a season-low .158, Washburn came out on top as it notched its 11th consecutive victory season, and sixth against a regional opponent.
Leading by as much as seven through the opening 13 points, the Ichabod margin began to disappear SWOSU cut the lead to 12-9, thanks in part to a 6-2 run. A WU timeout did little to slow the Bulldog momentum as they went on a 4-1 sprint and forced ties at 12 and 13.
Washburn regained controlled with a 3-0 spurt but was unable to further the gap as SWOSU forced another tie at 18-18. The advantage eventually changed hands as a trio of Ichabod attack errors helped propel a 5-1 run for SWOSU as it shouldered its way to a 23-22 lead. Back-to-back points for Washburn gave it set point but the Ichabods struggled to close out the frame, allowing the Bulldogs to steal it 26-24.
In the second, the Ichabods raced out to a 12-4 lead highlighted by seven straight points. With Washburn leading 16-6, the Bulldogs cut the margin to sixth as they it strung together four unanswered. From there on, the Ichabods maintained no less than a six-point cushion before claiming the point, 25-18, and tying the match.
Lead by a trio of Antonowich aces, WU blazed out to a 9-0 lead to open the third. The Ichabods worked quickly to produced a double-digit margin as a trio of kills from Allison Maxwell helped push the score to 16-4.
With Washburn leading 20-8, the cushion was quickly trimmed to eight following a 6-2 Bulldog run, making it 22-14, before a subsequent 6-1 rally narrowed the gap to three. The Ichabods however slammed the the door on the late push as Antonowich tallied back-to-back kills, giving a 2-1 match lead.
After see-saw action to open the fourth featured four ties, the Ichabods seized control with a 5-0 run and they moved out front, 10-5. Washburn never relinquished its advantage before assuming a double-digit lead late, en route to closing out the match with a 25-16 decision.
Four Ichabods tallied double-figure kills, including Allison Maxwell who had a match-best 14. Berg and Conner each registered double-doubles. Berg did so with 10 kills and 22 digs, while Conner posted 46 assists and 21 digs.
Washburn 3, St. Mary’s (TX) 0 // 25-16, 25-19, 25-22
After some brief jostling for position during the opening set, the Ichabods found themselves out front, 5-3, behind a 3-1 spurt. Doubling its lead to 8-4, Washburn slowly opened the margin before a 6-0 run late gave its largest lead of the match at 23-11, before kills from Emma Palasak and Makayla Maxwell secured the frame.
Another quick start in the second set saw WU jump to a 7-2 lead to open and never looked back. Yet again, powered by a succession of 2-0 and 3-0 spurts the Ichabods were able to keep STMU at arms lengths as it lead by no less than five points before an Antonowich kill pushed the match lead to 2-0 as Washburn took the stanza, 25-19.
Following a 3-0 run by STMU to cut the Ichabod lead to two, in the third, Washburn retaliated by pulling away as strung together five straight and climbed to a 15-8 lead. The Rattlers struck with a 6-1 run of their own but were unable to over the deficit before consecutive kills from Montgomery and Berg closed out the set for Washburn’s ninth sweep of the year.