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Balanced attack lifts volleyball to 3-1 win

Sports Information photo by Taylor Casey
Sports Information photo by Taylor Casey

ST. PAUL – Five players registered double figure kills on the way to volleyball's 3-1 win over Muhlenberg on Friday night at Schoenecker Arena.  The non-conference win lifts the Tommies to 12-5 overall, while the Mules drop to 11-4.

St. Thomas took sets one and two before Muhlenberg got on the board with its lone set coming in set three.  In the first set, the Tommies came out to score the first two points before the Mules scored four straight to take a 4-2 lead. 

The score was eventually evened and the two teams went back and forth until the Tommies went on a 6-1 run to open up a 19-14 lead, their largest of the set.  The run was highlighted by back-to-back kills from Madie Kroehler.  But the Mules answered with their own run, a 6-2 stint that brought the score to within one (22-21).  A service error gave St. Thomas the advantage it needed to pull away for the 25-23 win to take set one.

The second set proved even most of the way through.  The Mules used a 4-0 run to take an early 8-5 lead, but the Tommies responded with a 3-0 run of their own to tie it back up.  Each run throughout the second set was countered until a Grace Bordson kill gave St. Thomas a 21-19 advantage.  The kill sparked a 5-1 run to finish the set and give the Tommies a 2-1 advantage in the match.

Muhlenberg came out on fire in the third set, opening up a 17-4 lead early on.  It was an uphill battle from there for the Tommies, who climbed back into the set with a late 6-1 run to bring the score to 24-20, but the Mules collected the point they needed on an Erica Schultz kill.

The Tommies got off to a much better start in the fourth set, opening with a 7-4 early lead. St. Thomas kept the cushion throughout, never leading by fewer than three and leading by as many as eight points on its way to a 25-18 final set victory to take the match 3-1.

Kroehler led the five Tommies in double figures with 14 kills.  She collected her second straight double-double and fifth of the season with 16 digs.   Julia Spacek followed with 13 kills, Fran Egan had 11, and Audrey Erickson and Grace Bordson each tallied 10. 

Katharine Mallak ran the show with 51 assists, her second straight match with 50 or more.  Ellie Meyer led the defensive effort with 24 digs, leading four players in double figures.  Meyer and Kroehler were joined by Abby Louwagie and Meghan Mazzola with 15 digs each.

Kelly Tornetta paced Muhlenberg with 15 kills.  Shannon Hubert had 42 assists, and Maggie Enestvedt racked up 18 digs.

The Tommies will have the rest of the weekend off before getting back on the court next Wednesday at home against Augsburg University at 7:00pm.