Volleyball Earns First Victory Over Top-10 Team With Comeback Win Over Drury
It was a historic day for several University of Illinois Springfield volleyball players, but their accomplishments were overshadowed by the team as the Prairie Stars defeated a top-10 nationally-ranked team for the first time in program history. UIS knocked off No. 10 Drury on Saturday afternoon at TRAC by scores of 21-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25-23, and 15-10.
Drury came out on fire offensively the first two sets, as it hit .284 on its way to a 2-0 lead in the match. UIS regained momentum though with a 10-2 run early in the third set. The Panthers cut the eight-point deficit down to one at 18-17, but the Prairie Stars were able to hang on for the win.
UIS looked in trouble in the fourth set, falling in a five-point hole at 17-12. The Prairie Stars went on an 8-2 run though to retake the lead, with seven of those points coming off kills. The two teams were eventually tied at 23, but a kill by Alli Splitt gave UIS a set point, and a ball handling error by Drury forced the fifth set.
UIS never trailed in the fifth set as it raced out to a 9-2 lead, and lead by at least three points the rest of the way. The Prairie Stars defense held Drury to negative hitting in the final set.
Alyssa Hasler had two big kills late in that fifth set to help close out Drury, and the first of those kills helped her become the school’s all-time kills leader during its NCAA era. She finished the match with 908 kills, which also places her fifth in the career records for both the program’s NAIA and NCAA years.
Tiffany Wentworth hit an offensive milestone with her 2,500 career assists. Wentworth had 56 kills in the match, and now has 2,534 for her career. Wentworth entered this season with the most assists for the program’s NCAA era, and she is third for all eras.
The final individual record was set by Jailyn Borum who had 43 digs in the match, the highest single-match record in UIS history. That total also ranks in the top-10 all-time in GLVC history for a single match, and is the fifth-most in NCAA Division II this year.
Drury came into the match with the top defense in the GLVC, but UIS finished with a .206 mark against it, including a .230 mark for the final three sets. Drury hit .186 for the match, with both teams having 70 kills and the Panthers having three more hitting errors in seven more attempts. Defensively, Drury had two more blocks, and UIS had six more digs.
UIS was led offensively by Brianna Bush who had 19 kills. Hasler finished with 15, Alli Splitt had 13, and Taylor Bauer recorded 10. Defensively, Hasler had seven blocks to lead the Prairie Stars. Wentworth, Cobert, and Jenny Rush joined Borum with double-figure dig totals.