OLIVET, Mich. – The Manchester University volleyball team overcame an early two-sets-to-none hole on Wednesday night and battled back to stun the Olivet College Comets in a five-set thriller 3-2.
Olivet jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in Wednesday's match after narrowly edging the Spartans in sets one and two by scores of 25-22 and 25-23.
The Spartans found their footing in the third set, hitting a match-high .345 as a unit. Manchester won the third set 25-17. After falling behind by a couple of points in the fourth set, the Spartans utilized a 7-2 run to grab the lead from the Comets. MU forced a fifth and final set after taking set four by final score of 25-22.
Manchester clawed past the Comets for good on Wednesday night in the early stages of the fifth set. MU jumped out to a 5-2 advantage and never looked back en route to a 15-11 triumph.
Freshman Halle Planck (Gas City, Ind./Mississinewa) delivered a match-high 17 kills on Wednesday night to lead the Black and Gold. Planck added three block assists. Kara Heckmuller (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) finished with 16 kills and a .448 hitting percentage. Both Hailey Rivard (Tekonsha, Mich./Union City) and Rachel Ressler (Tipton, Ind./Tipton) added nine kills. Ressler also finished with 15 digs.
Setter Alexandria Collins (Lowell, Ind./Lowell) finished with a double-double, tallying 30 assists and 13 digs. Anna Marie Lawrie (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) led Manchester University with 30 digs while Mackenzie Rooks (Columbus, Ind./Columbus) finished Wednesday's match with 10 digs.
Junior setter Lauren Gandhi (Westfield, Ind./Guerin Catholic) totaled 19 assists on Wednesday against the Comets. Gandhi became just the sixth Spartan in program history to reach 1,000 or more assists. Gandhi now has 1,002 career assists.
Manchester, playing its final non-conference match of the season, will square off against Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opponents the remainder of the fall. Manchester (10-11) will travel to Earlham College on Saturday October 19 for a 1 p.m. showdown with the Quakers in Richmond.