Blue Jays Battle Into Fifth Set Against Grinnell College

Photo by Caleb Maassen.
Photo by Caleb Maassen.

Dubuque, IA, 9/18/21 – The Blue Jays volleyball team was looking for a better result in their final game of the Loras Invite/UD River City Classic against the Grinnell College Pioneers.  They fought their way through a fourth set comeback to force a fifth and deciding set.  Unfortunately, the Jays didn't have enough left to complete the comeback and lost 3-2 (25-16, 15-25, 23-25, 25-17, 7-15) to the Pioneers. The loss drops the Blue Jays to 2-9 on the season, while the Pioneers improved to 9-8.

The Blue Jays got off to a great start in the first set.  The Blue Jays would record 12 kills with only four errors while hitting .242 on their way to a convincing 25-16 set one win.  Set two saw the Jays attack see a role reversal as they Blue Jays would commit seven errors while Grinnell committed just three errors on the way to tying the match at 1-1. Set two was extremely tight but the Pioneers would barely manage to sneak by the Jays 25-23 to take a 2-1 lead. 

The Blue Jays refused to go quietly in the fourth set as they came back to hit a Westminster game high .333 with 13 kills and only two errors to win the set 25-17 and force a deciding fifth set.  The Pioneers would respond by hitting .500 with no errors as they dispatched the Blue Jays 15-7 and 3-2 in the match.

Eryka Wanyonyi (Columbia, MO / Hickman) would lead the way for the Blue Jays with 18 kills.  She was joined in double figures by Haley Menke (O'Fallon, MO / Fort Zumwalt West).  Gretchen Durbala (Burlington, IA / Burlington) dished out 46 assists.  Freshman Sophie Reimer (St. Charles, MO / Lutheran) led the Jays defense with 20 digs followed by Wanyonyi with 16 and freshman Kirstin Schrader (Imperial, MO / St. Pius X) recorded 14 digs.  Erica Schrader (Imperial, MO / St. Pius X) would record five service aces and Claire Whitehouse (St. Louis, MO / Parkway Central) once again lead the Jays at the net with 8 total blocks.

The Blue Jays will have some time off before their next match. Ten days to be exact.  The Jays will be back in action on September 28th on the road at SLIAC foe Principia College.  They will be trying to even their SLIAC record at 1-1.  The match is scheduled for a first serve of 6:00 p.m. in Elsah, IL.

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