Volleyball team cruises past Braves

Senior Sydney Pemberton jumps up for a block in the Wildcats’ sweep of Ottawa University Tuesday in Ottawa.

Senior Sydney Pemberton jumps up for a block in the Wildcats’ sweep of Ottawa University Tuesday in Ottawa. Photo by Rachel Dannen.

After beginning conference play with wins against Missouri Valley College and Evangel University, the Baker University volleyball team went 3-2 in its next five matches, helping head coach Kathy Allen inch closer to 300 career victories.

The Wildcats went 2-2 in the MidAmerica Nazarene University tournament Sept. 16-17 in Olathe after defeating Grand View University and Northwestern College, and falling to Bellevue University and Oklahoma City University.

Allen said the team played well until running out of gas in the final game against OCU.

“That was the last game of the tournament and every match was against all nationally-ranked teams,” Allen said. “Every match was just a battle, and when we got to them, we ran out of gas and did not play well.”

However, the Wildcats did defeat nationally-ranked Grand View in five sets.

“It’s a big win,” Allen said. “But, truthfully, we’ve played them every year at that same tournament and we’ve never lost to Grand View. I guess we have their number.”

Senior Jamie Starling said the team was still in shock after losing to OCU, so the Wildcats headed into their game against Ottawa University Tuesday with a sour taste in their mouths.

“We are a better team than Ottawa,” Starling said. “So I think that we’re going to come back and not only beat them, but beat them pretty well.”

The team did just that, sweeping the Braves 25-16, 25-23, 25-20.

Senior Christina Delladio led the way offensively and senior Brooke Allen anchored the Wildcats defensively with 10 digs.

“(Delladio) was stunning,” Kathy Allen said. “(She) had 14 kills and eight blocks. That’s an amazing night.”

Junior Jana Boss added 31 assists and has accumulated 151 assists in the last five games, helping her earn the HAAC Setter of the Week award for the second time this year.

“I guess when I look at setter of the week I see our team as a whole doing is really good because I can’t get assists unless I get a good pass,” Boss said. “… basically it’s only really set on kills, so if I get assists we can go from there.”

Brooke Allen was also named HAAC Libero of the Week for the second time this season after earning a .985 reception percentage in six games from Sept. 13-17.

Boss said having two HAAC players of the week shows how talented the passers are.

The Wildcats play in the Haskell Indian Nations Invitational Friday and Saturday in Lawrence, where they will face the College of the Ozarks Bobcats and the Haskell Indians.

BU will then look to go 3-0 in the HAAC when it plays Central Methodist University at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Collins Center.

The ’Cats hope to help Kathy Allen earn the three victories standing between her and 300 career wins.

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