SALINA, Kan. — Kansas Wesleyan coach Fred Aubuchon picked up his 300th career victory at the NAIA level as the Kansas Wesleyan volleyball team swept the Sterling (Kan.) Warriors 25-14, 25-18, 25-15 on Wednesday night at Mabee Arena.
“It was something that we had talked about at the start of the season,” Aubuchon said. “I was hoping to have the opportunity to achieve that goal this year, secondly I was hopeful to be able to enjoy it at home in front my family and friends, but honestly that number doesn’t mean as much as the number 11, which is our conference win total right now.”
The win did improve Wesleyan’s Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference leading record to 11-0 while the Coyotes improved to 19-10 overall, leaving the Coyotes a win away from a third straight 20-win season.
“Sterling is a solid team, they have good players and are coached well,” Aubuchon said. “They had a game plan for us and we needed to be on our toes. We prepared for them very well, but at the same time we adjusted well to them throughout the match to what they were doing.”
The Coyotes bolted out to an 8-0 lead in the opening set behind the serving of Taylor Elkinton. Sterling was able to get back within four at 9-5 on back-to-back kills by Hayley Ray, gut the Coyotes pushed the lead back out to 13-5 on an ace by Marlene Yang. Sterling got within five at 14-9 before Wesleyan responded with an 8-2 run to take a 22-11 lead on a kill by Breanne Schultz before taking the first set 25-14.
The second set saw Sterling stay close with the Coyotes until Wesleyan turned a 12-9 lead into an 18-12 lead on a kill by Elkinton. Sterling got back within four again at 22-18 before the Coyotes scored the final three points to take the second set 25-18.
Lauren Chamness’ ace gave the Coyotes a 7-1 lead in the third set, but Sterling would get within three at 10-7 on a kill by Ray. The Coyotes quickly answered back, scoring the next five points to take a 15-7 lead and force a Sterling timeout. Wesleyan extended its lead to 20-13 before closing the set scoring five of the final six points for the 25-15 win.
Chamness led the Coyotes with 13 kills, and had three aces and four blocks on the evening. Taylor Klover had nine kills without an error and Melissa Blair had seven blocks to lead the Coyote defense. Elkinton handed out 32 assists and had nine digs, while Miller added seven kills and 20 digs.
“Our hitters played really well tonight,” Aubuchon said. “They stepped up and played a good match for us.”
The Coyotes are back in action on Saturday, heading to Winfield to take on the Southwestern Moundbuilders at 7 p.m., at historic Stewart Field House. Wesleyan is at McPherson next Wednesday before hosting Tabor next Friday at 7 p.m. at Mabee Arena during Pink Week 2013.