Kevin White, Director of Athletics Communication
KIRKSVILLE — In its first home match since Oct. 8, the Truman Volleyball team played an absolute nail biter against conference rival William Jewell. After dominating the first set, the next four would be tightly contested but the Bulldogs would prevail in the end 3-2 (25-13, 26-24, 23-25, 20-25, 16-14). Ellie Kaat set a career high with 26 kills as she, Jocelynn Livingston and Morgan Smith each racked up double digit kills (14 and 17 respectively) as the team set a season high with 69 kills.
The Bulldogs jumped out really quickly in the first set, taking 11 of the first 14 points of the set. Smith had three kills during the opening run, Kaat had two. The Cardinals would get to within five at 18-13, but from there TSU ripped off seven straight points to close the set in dominating fashion 25-13.
The script flipped to begin the second set. WJC jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead, and from there would extend the lead to 12-6. From there, Truman went on a 8-2 run to tie the set at 14. Smith and Kaat each had three kills each in the stretch which brought the Bulldogs back to a draw. From there, the teams seesawed back and forth giving and taking the lead, until at 24-23 WJC had set point. Kaat brought the set back to a draw, and from there back to back errors gave Truman the set 26-24.
Truman opened the third set with a 7-4 lead, but a 4-0 spurt from the Cardinals wiped it away. WJC led the rest of the set, with Truman coming within one point at 23-22. But from there WJC got two of three points to finish the set 25-23. Kaat had a match high seven kills in this set.
At a 5-5 draw early in the fourth set, WJC built a four point lead following a 7-3 run. From there, Truman would get as close as two points but could not take the lead the rest of the set as WJC took the set 25-20.
With all the momentum swinging the way of the Cardinals, it was imperative for Truman to get a fast start as set five began. The Bulldogs took the first three points of the set, and was able to slow the Cardinal’s momentum. But once again the teams would go back and forth in what would set up a nail biting finish. WJC quickly tied the set at four, and then after a 7-7 deadlock would reel off three straight points to force a Truman timeout. Out of the break, Truman ripped off three straight to force a WJC timeout. A kill from Smith gave Truman their first set point at 14-13. WJC made it a deuce again at 14-14 but a kill from Kaat and error by the Cardinals gave the win to the Bulldogs.
The victory gave the Bulldogs their first five set win since beating P.R.-Mayaguez on Sept. 6. It also gives the team first two match winning streak since beating Charleston and Trevecca Nazarene on Sept. 21.
Saturday the Bulldogs will host No. 19 Rockhurst for Military Appreciation Day, starting at 4 p.m. at Pershing Arena.