MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa.—The Fontbonne University women's volleyball team dropped a five-set (25-21, 16-25, 25-22, 18-25, 12-15) thriller against Principia to start the IWU Tri-Match off. However, against host Iowa Wesleyan, the Griffins earned the five-set (11-25, 25-23, 25-11, 18-25, 15-10) win. Head Coach Ryan LeGrand also picked up his first win at the helm.
Principia 3 Fontbonne 2
Against the Panthers, the Griffins posted a season-high 60 kills and .185 hitting percentage. Maura Rabun led with 15 kills and a .310 hitting percentage. Kristina Eason filled up the stat sheet with 11 kills, 17 assists, 12 digs and five block assists. Karsyn Kulich hammered down a season-high 10 kills of her own.
The Panthers owned a .221 hitting percentage and ended with 77 digs. Noelle Shoemake led with a match-high 16 kills and .366 hitting percentage. Hayden Warner added 14 of her own and 11 digs. Setter Sophia Hathaway contributed a match-high 36 assists, while libero Mia Gill had herself an outing with 39 digs.
In the first set, the Griffins jumped out to a 14-10 lead on Kulick's kill. The team never relinquished its lead from there and went on for the 25-21 win on a block assist from Rabun and Eason.
In the second, Rabun's kill tied the score up at 11-11. However, The Panthers finished out the set on a 15-5 run, winning 25-16.
In the third, the Griffins totaled a match-high 18 kills and a .271 hitting percentage. The team took a 15-12 lead on a kill from Daisy Watkins. Despite the late run from Principia, the Griffins held on for the 25-22 win on an Emma Seiz kill.
It was a back-and-forth game in the fourth with Principia clinging to an 18-17 lead. They rattled off a 6-0 run and forced a fifth set with the 25-18 win.
In the finale, the Griffins took a 6-4 lead on Megan McKenzie's kill. However, the Panthers responded with a 5-0 run. Fontbonne cut the deficit down to 14-12 on Victoria Curtice's kill, but Principia finished the set and match off on Hayden Warner's kill.
Fontbonne 3 Iowa Wesleyan 2
Against the Tigers, the Griffins got a 12-kill performance from Curtice and Eason. Schaller led with 20 assists, while Curtice tied Borgerding in the dig department (17).
Iowa Wesleyan posted 37 kills and were led by Lida Landre's 10. Setter Paige Kammerer finished with 18 assists, while Jenna Murphy contributed 15 digs.
After IWU won the first set 25-11, the Griffins compiled 11 kills and a .079 hitting percentage to win the second, 25-23. It was all Fontbonne in the third set after they cruised to the 25-11 win on a match-high 13 kills and .303 hitting percentage.
The Griffins had hopes of winning in four sets, though the team had its struggles offensively with 11 kills and 12 errors, allowing the Tigers to force a fifth set with the 25-18 win. However, the Griffins gathered themselves and pulled away for the 15-10 set and match win in the finale.
Fontbonne returns to action next Wednesday in its home opener next Wednesday against Westminster. First-service goes up at 7 p.m.
Fans make sure to stay updated on fontbonnegriffins.com throughout the year for full updates and recaps on the women's volleyball team.
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