The Hornets volleyball team traveled to Rolla, Mo. for the Middle of Everywhere Classic last weekend. In the first match, Emporia State took on Northern Michigan and fell in five sets. Their record moved to 4-1, and the match had seven lead changes and 14 ties. Three Hornets were in double figures.
The Hornets then played Missouri-St. Louis and won in three sets, earning them a split on the opening day of the classic, improving their record, 5-1.
Day two was more of a challenge for the Hornets, having to take on the #3-ranked Southwest Minnesota State team. The Hornets fell in three matches. They then faced Upper Iowa and fell in five sets, their record falling to 5-3 on the season.
“Overall, I thought the weekend went well,” said sophomore Katie Deutschmann. “Although the games didn’t always end in our favor, we learned from the mistakes we made, and we will use what we learned in our upcoming games this week.”
Junior Brianna Kaiser ended the tournament with three double-doubles, and Deutschmann recorded a triple-double in the final match with 10 kills, 19 digs, and 25 assists. Kaiser earned her third double-double of the weekend with 14 kills and 21digs. Senior Meg Schwartz led in digs with 33 total in the final match.
“We lost two games that we definitely should have won,” Schwartz said. “It was frustrating because nothing was falling into place for us. We are focusing on getting better at practice today and get things rolling for our game against Washburn Tuesday.”
According to ESU game notes from the Athletic Department, ESU currently leads Washborn in the series, 63-26. ESU has played Washburn more than they have played any other opponent in volleyball.
This time the Hornets were unable to overcome the #5-ranked Washburn in the first “Turnpike Tussle” this season. The Hornets fell in three matches against the Ichabods.
Junior Morgan Buckner had nine kills on 15 attempts to lead the ESU offense.
“The game could have gone a lot better,” Buckner said. “It was a hard loss, but we will be quick to bounce back – it is only the beginning of the season. We have a lot to work on, and we see that on the court but we are a very talented team with a lot heart and we just need everything to fall together.”
The Hornets are now 5-4 on the season. The next time the Hornets take on Washburn is Oct. 23.
“We are a new team, and we have nothing to lose as of right now,” Buckner said. “So next time around we will be ready to attack, and there will be no excuses.”
The Hornets’ next game will be Sept. 15 at Missouri Western State University.