KALAMAZOO, Mich. – First-year IPFW women’s volleyball coach Steve Florio picked up his first career victory, as Florio and the Mastodons defeated his alma mater Saint Francis (Pa.) 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-21).
IPFW is now 1-0 in the Bronco Classic and have won four consecutive season openers.
Kendall Wienkes led the Mastodons on the day with 13 kills and 10 digs to earn her 18th career double-double. Emily Spencer moved into fifth place on IPFW’s all-time kill list, finishing with a match-high 15 kills, upping her career total to 1,519 and surpassing Rebekah Roehm. Spencer also finished with five digs and three blocks.
IPFW trailed only twice in the opening set as the ‘Dons closed out the frame on the heels of a 3-0 run.
The second set was all IPFW, as the ‘Dons never trailed. A 7-1 run to start the set gave the Mastodons a lead that the Red Flash could not overcome.
The final set saw a competitive battle, as the two squads exchanged five leads and 11 ties. The ‘Dons jumped out to the early lead, but Saint Francis tied the score at 6-6. Later, the Red Flash took the lead at 11-10, but a 5-1 run by the Mastodons gave them the lead for good. Wienkes and Spencer combined for nine of IPFW’s 13 kills in the set.
Sarah Heckman finished her day with eight kills and a .538 hitting percentage, while leading the ‘Dons with match-high five blocks. Hailie Ripley had five kills and Somer Johnson added four kills and four blocks. Newcomer Monica Hall earned a kill and a dig in her first match as a Mastodon.
Madison Spence led IPFW with 20 assists, while Mallory Slyder dished out a career-high 16 assists. Slyder and Wienkes each finished the afternoon with a match-high two aces. Defensively, Olivia Hahn had a career-high nine digs for the Mastodons.
The ‘Dons improve to 4-0 all-time against Saint Francis.
IPFW returns to the court for the final two matches of the Bronco Classic on August 30. The Mastodons will face Oakland at 12:30 p.m. followed by host Western Michigan at 7 p.m.