NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Spurred on by all-tournament honorees Riley Patterson and Dakota Stanichuk, Manchester University upped its current win string to four with a pair of sweeps to close play at their 2017 Invitational Saturday, Sept. 16.
Patterson, the sophomore middle hitter from Walkerton, Ind., closed out a ferocious .378 attack percentage for the weekend by drilling six kills with just one error in 16 attempts against a feisty Governors State crew and winding up with 10 kills, no errors and 15 attempts for a remarkable .667 percentage in the Black and Gold's second match-up against Boyce College at Southern. Stanichuk, a junior setter from Athens, Mich, was just as impressive averaging just under nine assists per set (8.83) over the two days. She tallied 23 against Governors State and 16 versus Boyce.
"It was a good weekend for us," Coach Bryndon Paulsen said. "We had an opportunity to get a bunch of players some looks.
That was fun to see stuff we've been working on in practice the last two weeks carry over to match play," he added. "There's been an improvement (in practice) from top to bottom, and now that's been tested against other competition with strong results."
Other top-notch numbers from the final day went to junior outside hitter Haley Duncan (Albion, Ind.) (11 kills, two block assists and a .286 attack percentage against Governors State); sophomore outside hitter Emma DeWitt (Brookston, Ind.) (a double-double versus Governors State of 10 kills and 12 digs); sophomore outside/right side hitter Grace Ondrla (Chicago, Ill.) (seven kills, .417 attack percentage against Boyce College at Southern); and junior outside hitter Kaitlin Mindiola (Roachdale, Ind.) (seven kills, .357 attack percentage and four service aces against Boyce College at Southern). Coach Bryndon Paulsen's side needed some late magic in the first and third sets to topple Governors State 26-24, 25-18, 30-28 and then overwhelmed Boyce College at Southern 25-5, 25-15, 25-15.
The Black and Gold begin 2017 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action Saturday, Sept. 23. They travel to Franklin College's Spurlock Center for a tri-match with the Grizzlies and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
"Our big focus since the opener has been what we need to improve on from the previous match," Paulsen said. "We've gotten so much better the last two weeks with that mentality. It's time to evaluate what we did well and struggled with (at the invitational) and focus on us getting better for league play."