FRANKLIN, IND. – A gritty, hard-nosed effort against the host Franklin College Grizzlies spotlighted a strong afternoon for Manchester University Saturday, Sept. 23.
Defeating the home team for the first time in their last six visits to the Spurlock Center, Coach Bryndon Paulsen's crew needed every ounce of energy. A wild and wooly 33-31 first set went their way, but the home crowd got to its feet with back-to-back decisions in the second and third sets. However, Manchester University dug deep and limited the Grizzlies to team attack percentages of just .109 and .111 in the fourth and fifth frames which led to 25-22 and 15-13 victories to seal the conference win.
Offensive prowess was not in low supply for the Spartans. Sophomore middle hitter Riley Patterson (Walkerton, Ind.), resuming a staggering run of nine successive matches in which she's attacked at a .300 or higher percentage, drilled 11 kills. Junior Hannah Tevis (Royal Center, Ind.), also a middle hitter, hammered 13 kills at the home defense with just two errors in 30 attempts (.367 attack percentage) and was also a thorn defensively with two solo and two assisted blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Emma DeWitt (Brookston, Ind.) turned in a double-double of 13 kills and 19 digs, and junior right side hitter Haley Duncan (Albion, Ind.) totaled 10 kills.
The Spartans, improving to 8-4 overall and 1-0 in the league, kept right on rolling against UW-Platteville in their second match to extend their win streak to six. The middle hitting duo of Patterson and Tevis was up to its old tricks again, hitting at a percentage above. 300 as Patterson upped her streak to 10 straight outings, and Tevis and Duncan were formidable defensively with five block assists apiece as part of a 26-24, 25-18, 25-17 triumph.
Manchester University continues conference action with a pivotal mid-week trip to Rose-Hulman Wednesday, Sept. 27. First serve is 7 p.m.