RICHMOND, Indiana – The Earlham College volleyball team split a pair of matches to open the 2017 Quaker Classic on Saturday, falling to Capital University 3-1 and defeating crosstown rival Indiana University East 3-2 at Schuckman Court.
In the loss to Capital, the Quakers on a back-and-forth set one 27-25, but could not keep the momentum up as the Crusaders took set two 25-15 in convincing fashion. Set three saw Capital get out to a 15-10 lead, but a kill from junior Ashleigh Burton got the Quakers within two points at 16-14. Earlham kept the two-point deficit to 20-18, but the visitors ended the set on a 5-2 run to take a 2-1 advantage.
Capital opened a 6-0 lead in set four it would not relinquish. Earlham got to within two points at 9-7, but could get no closer as an 11-7 run from the Crusaders put the fourth set and the match away.
The Crusaders hit a .254 clip for the match while holding the Quakers to a modest .094. Both Morgan Tripp and Alexa Jeffers dished out 19 assists as part of Capital's 6-2 offensive attack.
Burton and freshmen Julia Stewart and Carly Federinko led the Quakers in kills with 15, 12 and 10 respectively. Sophomore setter Lauren Jackson dished out 41 assists while junior libero Megan Hedinger had 15 digs.
In the thrilling five-set win over IU East, the Red Wolves took a close first set 25-23, but the Quakers, who had lost to their crosstown rivals 3-0 the last two years, responded by winning the second set 25-23. The two Richmond schools were tied 18-18 in the third set until IU East used a service run from setter Danielle Mitchell to close out the set 25-20 after the Quakers had snatched a two-point lead.
It looked as though the visitors would claim a four-set win after an early lead, but Earlham stormed back with long service runs from sophomore Sydney Ameluxen and Jackson to hold a 13-8 advantage. The Red Wolves got within a single point at 21-20, but kills from Stewart and Federinko combined with two IU East attack errors gave the hosts the fourth set win and forced a decisive fifth set.
In the fifth set, the Red Wolves took an 11-7 lead, but four straight attack errors off the serve of sophomore Angelica Carpio tied the set 11-11. IU East won two of the next three points, but a Federinko kill and an Ameluxen service ace gave the Quakers match point. The attack error from Taylor McKinney induced pandemonium on Schuckman Court as Earlham had defeated IU East for the first time in program history.
IU East hit a better attack percentage (.196 to .180) and also held a slight 10-7 edge in blocks, but Earlham kept the Red Wolves out of system with 11 service aces. Once again, the trio of Burton, Federinko and Stewart led the way, combining for 40 of the Quakers' 58 kills.
Taylor McKinney led IU East with 17 kills on 48 attack attempts.
Both setter averaged over 10 assists per set with Jackson dishing out 50 assists compared to 60 for Mitchell.
Earlham (5-2) faces the University of Pikeville at 11 a.m. on Sunday to conclude the Quaker Classic.