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VU Volleyball picks up pair of victories
 September 9, 2013

Blazers gut out tough win over SWIC on Challenge's 1st day

The Vincennes University Volleyball Team picked up a pair of wins Friday on the first day of the Vincennes Challenge at the VU P.E. Complex by topping Danville Area in the event’s first match and then grinding out a four-set victory against Southwestern Illinois in the final match of the day.

Play continues Saturday with five more matches in the Vincennes Challenge.

In the Trailblazers’ 25-11, 25-12, 25-21 win over Danville Area, the first set was tight early until VU (8-3) scored five straight points to open up a 9-3 cushion. Following a timeout precipitated by a couple smashes by VU sophomore Kiara Cruz, the Jaguars outscored the Trailblazers 8-3 but VU then responded and retook command for the win.

The second set against the Jaguars started with VU getting out to a 6-0 lead, partially fueled by a Megan Kelsay ace. Danville battled back to within 11-7 but VU eventually earned a 21-9 advantage to register a second win.

The Jaguars started the third set with a 4-2 lead and held an advantage until Vu sophomore Kristen Murphy’s kill tied it at 7-7. The Trailblazers then took their first lead at 9-8. The final set stayed close until VU stretched the lead to four and maintained it the rest of the way to close out the match.

In VU’s second match of the day, vs. Southwestern Illinois, the Trailblazers never enjoyed much breathing room but gutted out a 25-21, 25-16, 25-27, 25-14 win.

The first set found VU trailing 13-9, but the Trailblazers put together a run to knot it up at 13-all. The score was also tied at 15-15 and 17-17 before VU’s four straight points provided a 21-17 lead. The Blue Storm scored a couple points to tighten it up and scored again when the Trailblazers were at game-point to make it interesting before VU finished it off 25-21 on a kill by Cruz.

In the second set, VU led 18-10 when a Trailblazer serving error gave Southwestern Illinois a chance and the Blue Storm capitalized to pull within 19-13. VU managed to make the lead stand up and Ariana Kuhn put one away for the winner at 25-16.

Set No. 3 continued the same theme. The Trailblazers and Blue Storm were tied at 12-all before VU battled to a 17-16 lead. The lead was short-lived, however, as Southwestern Illinois clawed in front at 20-18. Two straight points by VU tied it again at 20-all and the Blue Storm called timeout.

VU lost a 23-21 lead and wound up tied with Southwestern Illinois at 24-all before Kristen Murphy’s kill staked the Trailblazers to a 25-24 lead. The Blue Storm then scored three unanswered points to register its lone victory of the match.

In the decisive fourth set, VU finally managed to lead most of the way for the 25-14 win to close out the hard-fought match.

VU faces Indiana Tech at about 11:30 a.m. and Ancilla at about 3 p.m. on the Vincennes Challenge’s final day Saturday.

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