Story by sports information student assistant Victoria Kabungulu
RICHMOND, Ind. - The Earlham College volleyball team needed all five sets to defeat Concordia University Chicago 3-2 (25-16, 25-16, 22-25, 14-25, 15-11) in the final match of the 2016 Quaker Classic on Sunday afternoon.
The beginning of the first set was even with a tie at 5-5 due to a kill from freshman Venessa Duran. The Quakers then led with that one-to-two point margin until a kill from freshman Angelica Carpio gave Earlham 14-10 lead. The Quakers were riding steady until a kill and ace gave two points to the Cougars, but that didn't deterred Earlham as a kill from sophomore Ashleigh Burton put Earlham ahead 23-13.
The Cougars tried to recover as a service error, attack error, and service ace handed them three points but in the end, but in the end a kill from freshman Lauren Johnson followed by a service ace from Burton resulted in Earlham winning the first set.
Riding the exhilaration, the Quakers took the lead 8-1 in the second set with a kill from Burton. A couple of service errors, aces, and a kill granted the Cougars points, but as the set progressed, a service ace from sophomore Denisha Mataia gave Earlham a 16-9 advantage. The Cougars fought hard to catch up as a service ace on their end made the score 17-15, but Burton again delivered a kill to end the set.
The Quakers and Cougars rode a one-point margin in the beginning of the third set as a service error put the Concordia Chicago up 8-7. Carpio helped start kick start the Earlham offense with a kill that left the scoreboard reading 13-8. The Quakers got as close as 23-22, but due to two attack errors ended the set in the Cougars' favor. Riding the momentum of the third set win, Concordia Chicago won the fourth set 25-16 and forced a fifth and deciding set.
In the final set, Burton put Earlham on top with a kill. The set progressed to a 7-7 tie, but the Quakers went on a 5-3 run capped by a kill from sophomore Skylar Muckway to take a 12-10 lead. Two Cougar attack errors and a service error gave Earlham the match.
Earlham hit .182 in the match as a team including a .294 clip (five kills and no errors) in the final set. Burton led the way individually with 17 ki9lls while Mataia added eight kills. Jackson assisted on 41 of Earlham's 45 kills. Three Quakers tallied double digits in digs with Hedinger tallying a team-high 18 digs.
Concordia Chicago won the service game as the Cougars tallied 16 aces compared to 12 for Earlham.
The Quakers stand at 2-6 on the year and host Wilmington College on Wednesday, Sept. 14. First serve is slated for 7 p.m.