No. 21 Lewis Women’s Volleyball Claims GLVC Volleyball Title

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No. 21 Lewis Women’s Volleyball Rallies Past Missouri-St. Louis To Claim GLVC Volleyball Title

Published: November 21, 2021.

Lewis University's women's volleyball team rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Missouri-St. Louis 3-2 (25-17, 18-25, 20-25, 25-23, 15-11) to win the 2021 GLVC Volleyball title on Sunday afternoon at the Eastside Centre in East Peoria, Ill. The Flyers (26-6) extend their GLVC record in volleyball championships to 11 and claim the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Lewis wins its first GLVC Title since 2017 when they also won rallied to win in five sets and extend their streak of consecutive NCAA Tournaments to 14.

The Flyers came out of the gates red hot hitting .289 with 15 kills against two errors in 45 chances in the opening stanza. They used a 10-2 run to break a 5-5 tie and led by as many as 11 in the stanza after an attack error by Olivia Klank. The Tritons (24-8) made things interesting late running off four straight points to get within seven before Bella Ray (Plainfield, Ill./Joliet Catholic) closed out the set with a kill.

Lewis led by five early in the second set before UMSL got hot and went on an 11-2 run to take a four-point lead. The Flyers were unable to overcome that run and weren't able to get closer than three the rest of the frame as the Tritons hit .471 in the stanza to win 25-18 and even the match at a set apiece.

Lewis held another five-point lead in the swing set but were unable to close it out as UMSL closed the set on a 15-5 run to win the frame 25-20 and take the 2-1 lead in the match.

It was the Flyers turn to rally in the fourth set as they trailed 11-7 before scoring six straight points to take a 13-11 lead on a service ace from Ava Venema (Westmont, Ill./Timothy Christian). The stanza proceeded to go back and forth until Lewis regained control with three straight points. The Tritons battled back to tie the set at 21 after Kaileen Herman and Mya Elliott teamed up to block Megan Schlechte (Strasburg, Ill./Stewardson-Strasburg).

The Flyers scored the next three points getting a kill from Schlechte and back-to-back blocks from Ray and Lauren Stenman (Maplewood, Minn./North St. Paul) and Ray and Schlechte to get to set point. However, UMSL wouldn't go quietly as Charlotte Richards, the GLVC Player of the Year, got back-to-back kills to bring the Tritons within one and forced Lewis to take a timeout. Out of the timeout, the Flyers scored the winning point when Herman was called for a net violation on an attack attempt from Schlechte to give Lewis the 25-23 win.

The Flyers got off to a fast start in the winner take-all set as they lead 6-1 but UMSL battled back to get within 7-4 when Paige Yoder and Karlyn Hannewald teamed up to block Amanda Greening (Metamora, Ill./Metamora). Lewis was unfazed scoring five straight points to extend its lead to eight on back-to-back kills from Natalie Stefanski (Plainfield, Ill./Joliet West).

The Tritons fought back with a 7-1 run to cut Lewis' lead to 13-11 after a kill from Elliott. The Flyers were able to regroup as Venema recorded a kill to set up championship point and then Schlechte knocked down the winning point to trigger the celebration.

Lewis hit .171 for the contest recording 63 kills against 26 errors in 217 chances and were led by Schlechte who finished with 17 kills while Greening added 15 and Ray finished with 10 kills. Stenman had 49 assists while Ray finished with nine blocks and Poppen finished with 31 digs. Poppen also set the single season dig record for the Flyers passing Ronni Katarzynski's mark of 696 set in 2017. Poppen currently has 725 digs this season.

UMSL finished the match with a .176 attack percentage with 64 kills against 25 errors in 221 swings. Richards had a match-high 21 kills to lead the Tritons while Klank had 13 and Elliott and Yoder had 11 kills apiece. Herman had 50 assists, Elliott had seven blocks and Megan Woll had 32 digs.

Lewis will learn its opponent and the location of the Midwest Regional on Monday evening during the NCAA Selection Show at 6:30 p.m. (CST) on NCAA.com.

Lewis University is an innovative and forward-thinking Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,200 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.



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