KALAMAZOO, Mich. – For the second straight year, the IPFW women’s volleyball team begins its season 3-0 as the Mastodons claimed the 2014 Bronco Classic, defeating Oakland 3-1 (16-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-20) and host Western Michigan 3-2 (25-21, 18-25, 25-21, 19-25, 15-13).
IPFW’s Emily Spencer was named the tournament MVP while teammates Kendall Wienkes and Sarah Heckman were also named to the All-Tournament team.
Spencer finished the day with 43 kills while hitting .308, and earning a double-double in both matches. Spencer’s 23 digs on the day moves her into 13th place on the IPFW all-time dig list with 1, 055, surpassing Deanna Brown and Jill Lyon.
Wienkes picked up her second double-double of the season against Oakland, and finished the afternoon with 27 kills, 16 digs, and a team-best three aces. Hailie Ripley led the team with 11 blocks on the day to go along with 14 kills. Heckman and Somer Johnson each finished with 12 kills.
Olivia Hahn led all IPFW players with 29 digs, while Mallory Slyder finished with a team-high 59 assists.
In the opener against the Grizzlies, IPFW dropped the first set, but battled back in the second after trailing midway through. Down 17-16, the Mastodons used a 6-0 run to take the lead and eventually the set.
The third set was all IPFW as the ‘Dons never trailed, running away with the set that included a 12-2 Mastodon run.
In the final set, IPFW trailed early before rallying to tie the score at 17-17. Oakland answered with three straight points, but the Mastodons closed out the match with eight consecutive points as Spencer finished off the Grizzlies with three straight kills.
In the first set of the nightcap, Western Michigan jumped out to an early 9-5 lead. The Mastodons fought back with a 12-4 run to take their first lead en route to winning the set. IPFW led midway through the second set, but the Broncos closed it out with a 9-2 run.
The ‘Dons fell behind 7-1 in the third set, but battled back to tie the score at 20-20. From there, IPFW closed it out with a 5-1 advantage. The fourth set saw the ‘Dons tie the score midway through the set, however Western Michigan finished on a 7-1 run to send the match into the decisive set.
In the fifth and final set, it appeared as though IPFW would run away with it, jumping out to a 4-0 lead. The Broncos responded with a rally to tie the score at 10-10. The ‘Dons used a timely kill from Monica Hall to hold off WMU before Spencer once again capped off the night with her 26th kill of the match.
IPFW returns to the court on September 5 to face Bakersfield at 3 p.m. for the opening match of the two-day Flyer-Raider Invitational.