Dubuque, IA, 9/17/21 – The Blue Jay volleyball team traveled to Dubuque, IA to begin play in the Loras Invite and the University of Dubuque River City Classic. Their first game saw them matched up with one of the host schools the Loras College Duhawks. The five-hour drive might have taken a little out of the Jays as they dropped the first two sets before breaking through for a set three victory. The Duhawks would regroup in set four to win the match 3-1 (25-12, 25-19, 26-24, 14-25). The loss dropped the Blue Jays to 2-6 and 0-1 in the SLIAC. Loras improved to 9-1.
The Duhawks jumped out to a big lead in the first set and cruised to the set one win 25-12. In set two the Blue Jays would battle to take a 15-13 lead off of an Eryka Wanyonyi (Columbia, MO / Hickman) kill off of a Gretchen Durbala (Burlington, IA / Burlington) assist. The Duhawks would then run off five straight points to take a 18-15 lead. A Haley Menke (O'Fallon, MO / Fort Zumwalt West) kill and a Duhawk attack error got the Blue Jays within one at 18-17 but the Duhawks would score seven of the last nine points to win set two 25-19.
The Blue Jays would finally break through in set three. A kill by Emma Geier (Versailles, MO / Morgan R-II) staked the Blue Jays to a 7-4 lead. Loras would rally to tie the score at seven. Freshman defensive specialist Kirsten Schrader (Imperial, MO / St. Pius X) hit a service ace, a Wanyonyi kill and a Loras attack error moved the Blue Jays to a 21-18 lead but again the Duhawks would rally to take a lead at 23-22. Wanyonyi would tie it with a kill at 23. The teams would trade errors to a 24-24 tie. Geier would give the Jays a 25-24 lead on a kill from Durbala. The Blue Jays would win set three 26-24 after a Duhawk error that would force a fourth set. The Duhawks seized an early lead in set four and cruised to a 25-14 set four and a 3-1 match win.
Wanyonyi led the Blue Jays with ten kills followed by Menke and Geier with eight each. Durbala would again lead the Jays in assists with 28. Wanyonyi would lead the Blue Jay defense with 18 digs, her sixth double double of the season, followed by Kate Rable (St. Peters, MO / Fort Zumwalt South) with 15 and Erica Schrader (Imperial, MO / St. Pius X) with ten. Kirsten Schrader led the team with two service aces and Claire Whitehouse (St. Louis, MO / Parkway Central) led the team with one solo block and two blocks total.