BLUFFTON, OHIO - Junior libero Anna Marie Lawrie (Indianapolis, Ind.), and senior setter Dakota Stanichuk (Troy, Mich.) helped lead the Spartans in a 3-1 win over Bluffton University on Wednesday, October 24.
A tremendous statistical night from Lawrie defensively, and Stanichuk offensively, sparked the momentum of Wednesday's match. In the first set, the first four points were traded back and forth between the two HCAC teams. The Spartans took control by going on a six point run, including two kills apiece from senior Haley Duncan (Albion, Ind.) and freshman Samantha Campbell (Brownsburg, Ind.) notching the score at 8-2. Bluffton would then close Manchester's lead 19-18, but the Spartans were able to close out the set, 25-22, with two aces from senior Morgan Oliver (Alexandria, Ind.), and kills from Duncan and classmate Hannah Tevis (Royal Center, Ind.). During set two, Manchester took control early on with eight kills and two bluffton errors to put the Spartans on top 10-4 over the Beavers. Bluffton responded fast tying the score, 11-11. Bluffton never lead the match, as the Spartans took set two, 25-22. By set three, Stanichuk and Lawrie had both recorded 20+ (assists/digs) in their statistical categories, respectively. The Spartans lost momentum, when Bluffton never allowed Manchester to score more than two points in a row within the third set. Manchester dropped set three, 25-10, with four of the Spartan points coming from kills by Tevis. In the final set, Manchester and Bluffton traded the first 15 points before the Beavers went on a seven point run. The Spartans closed the seven point defecit which included two kills from Emma Voelker (North Bend, Ohio.), an ace from Tevis and Lawrie, and a kill from Campbell to cut Blufftons lead within one (15-14). Manchester played catch-up towards the end of the set, falling behind 22-21, after a service error from the Beaver's Casey Clark. Bluffton would never score again, as Stanichuk would serve three consequtive aces to help finish the fourth set, 25-22.
Stanichuk would end her stellar night with a career-high 39 assists to go along with six digs, and four aces. Lawrie finished just two shy of her career-high in digs with 35. Helping lead the Spartan offense in double digit kills were Tevis (12), Duncan (11), and Campbell (10). Duncan recorded a double-double adding 10 digs defensively, and Tevis barely missed by tallying eight digs. Freshman Kara Heckmuller (Cincinnati, Ohio) also added four blocks.
The Spartans go into the weekend with their final two games of the season against HCAC opponents. Their next game is Saturday, October 27, at Transylvania University with a 3pm start. Manchester will then travel to Hanover College to take on the Panthers on Sunday, October 28 at 1pm.