After seeing a 2-0 lead evaporate, and trailing 14-11 in the decisive fifth set, the Buena Vista volleyball team fought back with five straight points to win the match over the College of St. Mary on Friday night inside of Siebens Fieldhouse.
The Beavers came out firing in the first two sets, chalking up 28 kills and recording only five errors, en route to 25-21 and 25-19 victories. The Flames, however, didn't back down and clawed their way back, jumping out to an 18-6 lead in the third set to win 25-17. Despite falling behind 17-11 in the fourth set, BVU tried to fight back, getting as close as 24-22 but came up short, falling 25-22.
The fifth set was back-and-forth at the start with ties at 3, 4 and five before BVU scooted out to a 9-6 lead. The Flames then fought back with an 8-2 spurt to reach match-point, but a Flames serving error began the rally for BVU, as it also got a key block to tie the score at 14-14. Back-to-back hitting errors by CSM sealed the win for BVU.
Senior Lacie Drennan turned in a stellar performance with a career-high 24 kills and only five errors in 53 attempts for a .302 percentage. Freshman Kirsten VanZuiden followed with 15 kills in 36 attempts, as senior Kacie Woodley added six kills. Freshman Courtney Van Haaften dished out a match-high 52 assists and now has the second-highest total by a freshman in a single season (857) in school history.
Defensively, senior Kelsey Essick turned in 11 digs, while junior Bailey Schafbuch was close behind with 10. At the net, Woodley finished with a match-high six block assists, while freshman Chelsea Gubbels added five total.
The win avenges an earlier season loss to the Flames, which also went five sets. For the year, BVU has now played in nine five-set matches.
With the win, the Beavers improve to 8-15 overall and will play a pair of matches on Saturday at the Grinnell College Triangular. The team will open against Illinois College at 1:00pm before wrapping up with the host Pioneers at 3:00pm.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.