NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University took advantage of a history lesson to gain a key Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference win Saturday, Sept. 24.
"(The team) got back to work (after a 3-0 loss to Rose-Hulman Sept. 21) and wanted to fix what we struggled with," Coach Bryndon Paulsen said. "We did that today in many areas, especially battling well and playing very hard.
"As long as we can keep our mentality which is being loose and playing our way, we're in great shape," he added. "There'll always be things to work on. Moving forward, we want to build (on today) and the energy we had."
MU, moving to 8-5 overall and 1-1 in the HCAC, overcome a feisty Franklin College squad, winning 25-14, 25-27, 26-24, 27-25 in front of better than 100 happy fans at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena. After a first set in which the home side pieced together a staggering .452 attack percentage, Franklin rallied back late in the second set to even the match up. FC was on the verge of a commanding two to one sets' lead, up 24-21 in the third before the Black and Gold reeled off five straight points for the pivotal 26-24 decision. The final set was back and forth throughout with a three-point run wrapping it and the match up for Manchester University.
The home team's offense made things difficult for the visitors, as senior outside hitter Courtney Chowning (Yorktown, Ind.) (17), junior outside hitter Ally Roskos (Elkhart, Ind.) (12), sophomore outside hitter Farren Miller (Lebanon, Ind.) (10) and sophomore middle hitter Hannah Tevis (Royal Center, Ind.) (10) were each in kill double digits as part of 60 total. Chowning, Miller and Roskos each managed double-doubles in digs and kills, as Chowning dug up 23 Grizzly attacks, Roskos tallied 13, and Miller ended with 11. Other strong numbers came from freshman defensive specialist/libero Anna Marie Lawrie (Indianapolis, Ind.) (18 digs); freshman middle hitter Riley Patterson (Kokomo, Ind.) (four blocks); and sophomore setter Dakota Stanichuk (Athens, Mich.) (53 assists – four service aces).
Roskos' afternoon was just part of a big bench story Saturday. Sophomore middle hitter Emma Voelker (North Bend, Ohio) and freshman outside hitter Emma DeWitt (Brookston, Ind.) added strong results as well.
"They were each very important to our success," Paulsen noted. "Ally was on fire this afternoon making smart plays and just having a lot of energy. She made the most of an opportunity and ran with it. Emma (DeWitt) has been in a battle for playing time at the outside, but she's showed us she can step up which happened (this afternoon). We're excited about her … it was great to see what she was able to do. Emma (Voelker) proved important along the front defensively in important spots, too."
The Spartans begin a six-match road trip Monday, Sept. 27, with a non-conference clash at Indiana University – Northwest. First serve is 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.