NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – A straight-set 25-12, 25-11, 25-19 win over Wright St.-Lake went in Manchester University's annals Wednesday, Oct. 26.
At night's end, the final outcome wasn't the headline. Recognizing a pair of student-athletes who have helped lead Manchester University to its first set of back-to-back Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament berths since 2006-07 and 2007-08 was. Outside hitter Courtney Chowning (Yorktown, Ind.) blasted 11 kills and turned in a pair of solo blocks, and setter Heather Racine (Evansville, Ind.) registered 34 assists and served up four aces in their final appearance on Stan Weller Court honoring Coaches Hoffman and Wolfe at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena.
Coach Bryndon Paulsen was able to go his bench early and often in the home regular season finale. With the Black and Gold (15-11) moving out to a 16-6 advantage over the visiting Lakers (2-22) in the opening set; forging a 19-7 margin to begin the second frame; and leading 15-3 to start out the final set, several individuals received court time with strong results. Sophomore middle hitter Emma Voelker (North Bend, Ohio) turned in five blocks, three of them solo; freshman middle hitter Emily Bailey (Warsaw, Ind.) tallied three kills in four attempts for a stratospheric .750 attack percentage; sophomore right side hitter Haley Duncan (Albion, Ind.) delivered seven kills in eight tries for a sparkling .778 effort; and freshman middle hitter Riley Patterson (Kokomo, Ind.) tallied five kills, hit .571 and served up two aces among the top totals.
MU closes its regular season Saturday, Oct. 29, traveling to Earlham College for a tri-match against the Quakers and Boyce the College at Southern.