Sports, UCM Sports

Jennies improve after pair of weekend sweeps

Jennies volleyball swept Missouri Southern and Pittsburg State this weekend to improve to 8-4 (3-1 in the MIAA). They won each in different fashion.

Friday, UCM traveled to Joplin to face Missouri Southern and had an offensive night to remember. As a team, the Jennies hit .361 with just 11 errors in taking the match 25-19, 25-22, 25-16.  UCM was so dominant, in fact, that after Missouri Southern (8-5, 1-2) scored the first point in set one, it never again saw the lead.

Sydney Lierz and Hannah Engelken led the offense. Lierz had 19 kills while hitting .333. Engelken had 10 kills and hit .381. Ally Offerdahl put up 43 assists and Abby Skrastins paced the defense with 21 digs.

“We played very well Friday at Missouri Southern,” head coach Flip Piontek said. “And that was good because they (MSSU) played well.”

Where Friday was all about the offense, defense ruled the day Saturday against Pittsburg State (7-6, 2-2). The Jennies hit just .217 in the match, but they were stifling on the other end as Pitt State hit .047.  

“We competed hard on Saturday in an ugly match with no flow,” Piontek said. “The key to the weekend was set two. We were down 23-20, but came back to win.”

UCM actually had to come back in the first two sets. In set one, the Jennies trailed 8-3 but rallied for a convincing 25-15 win. Set two had to go to extra points, 26-24 after the Jennies rallied from their 23-20 deficit. Set three was all UCM, as the Jennies never trailed in winning 25-14 to complete the sweep.

Lierz had 13 kills in the match and Audrey Fisher finished with 12 kills and hit .440. Aubree Bell and Skrastins had 19 and 12 digs, respectively.  

One more road match for the Jennies as they head to William Jewell Tuesday night for a non-conference match. Then it is back home for just the second time this season.

“Eleven of 12 on the road to start is tough,” Piontek said. “I might have over-extended the players.”  

The Jennies host Nebraska-Kearney Friday at 6 p.m. and Fort Hays State Saturday at 3 p.m. 

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