Bellevue, Neb. - The 19th ranked Viterbo (Wis.) volleyball team got its first win over a nationally ranked team this season as they defeated #24 Taylor (Ind.) 25-19, 25-19, 25-15 in the NAIA Game of the Week.
"We got off to a bit of a slow start in the first set but I was very happy to see how we got our offense going and really played much better as the set went on," commented Viterbo University Head Coach Ryan DeLong. "We were able to play our type of game with a very fast offense and I was pleased to see that against a very solid Taylor team."
In the first set, both teams traded points back and forth over the first 20 points as the score was tied 10-10. Viterbo would then take a slight 15-12 lead before Taylor cut it back to 15-14. The V-Hawks then closed the first set on a 10-5 run to win the first set 25-19. Sophomore Alicia Olson (Eau Claire, Wis.) led the V-Hawks in the first set with 5 kills as the team finished with 18 kills, 4 errors and a .400 hitting percentage. Elizabeth Luke led Taylor University with 5 kills as they finished with 12 kills, 5 errors and a .206 hitting percentage.
The Trojans opened the second set by building an early 7-3 lead but the V-Hawks would slowly chip away and tie the game at 10. The two teams would then go back and forth until Viterbo took a 17-16 lead. Similar to game one, the V-Hawks were able to pull away down the stretch with a 7-2 run to win the second set 25-19. Olson once again led the V-Hawk offense with six of their twenty one kills as they hit .278 as a team. The Trojans were held to just 10 kills as a team and a .163 hitting percentage in the second set.
The third set was completely controlled by the V-Hawks as they never trailed and led by as many as ten (22-12). Seniors Katie Flock (Sparta, Wis.) and Stacie Hoffman (Mequon, Wis.) led the offense for the V-Hawks in the third set with four kills apiece. As a team, the V-Hawks finished with 19 kills, 3 errors, and an impressive .421 hitting percentage. The V-Hawk defense held the Trojans to just five kills and a .071 hitting percentage.
For the match, the V-Hawks were led by Olson and Flock who finished with 16 and 12 kills, respectively. Hoffman set up the offense for the V-Hawks with 43 assists to go along with her 6 kills and 8 digs. Senior Jordan Blaken (Melrose, Wis.) led the V-Hawk defense with 18 digs while Flock chipped in 12 digs for a double-double. The Trojans were led by Luke with 8 kills, Olivia Griffith with 25 assists and Courtney Herschberger with 11 digs.
The win moves the V-Hawks to 21-4 overall while the Trojans fall to 16-8 overall. Play will continue at the Bruin Premier Classic when the Trojans play tournament host Bellevue (Neb.) at 3:00 pm. Viterbo will be back in action when they play St. Xavier University at 5:00 pm. Viterbo will then finish the two day tournament on Saturday morning at 9:00 am when they play Dordt (Iowa).