CHICAGO, ILL. – Manchester University narrowly missed a second successive split at the Lake Forest Forester Invitational Saturday, Sept. 2.
After an opening day in which they toppled Milwaukee School of Engineering in four sets after the hosts eluded them in four, Coach Bryndon Paulsen's side bounced back from a 2-1 deficit against Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference foe University of Dubuque. An impressive 25-12 victory in the fourth set featured a fifth-set decider between the two schools sporting Spartans' monikers.
The back and forth battle saw UD hold on 16-14 for the five-set decision. Junior middle hitter Hannah Tevis (Royal Center, Ind.) tried her level best to will the Black and Gold over the top on her own, hitting a remarkable .357 with 12 kills and only two errors in 28 attempts. Fellow Class of 2018 member Haley Duncan (Albion, Ind.), whose weekend resume featured three matches of double digit kills, tallied 10 successful attack attempts and was also a menace to the Blue and White Spartans offense with three solo blocks. Digging deeper into the MU numbers, sophomore defensive specialist/libero Anna Marie Lawrie (Indianapolis, Ind.) and outside hitter Emma DeWitt (Brookston, Ind.), also a member of the Class of 2019, dug up 17 Dubuque attack attempts each, and DeWitt added to her totals with two service aces.
In the weekend's final match, nearby Aurora University knocked off the Spartans in three. A tough-luck offensive attack that hit just .024 was the story, while Aurora was on fire hitting at a .214 clip. DeWitt sent seven attacks to the floor and ended with 10 digs as did junior outside hitter Kaitlin Mindiola (Roachdale, Ind.). Tevis, winding up an all-tournament weekend where she hit at a respectable .155 mark, turned in six kills and a .222 hitting percentage, and senior outside hitter Ally Roskos (Elkhart, Ind.) served up five aces.
Manchester University takes its 1-3 record into the 2017 home opener Wednesday, Sept. 6. First serve against Ancilla College is 7 p.m. at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena.