Defiance Volleyball Wins Two, Off to Best Start Since 2004
9/9/2012 | Terre Haute, IN | Attendance: 58
9/9/2012 | Terre Haute, IN | Attendance: 54
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – First year head coach Brie Brenner has instilled a new attitude into the Defiance College volleyball team to begin the 2012 season. The Jackets finished off the Rose-Hulman Invitational by winning both matches on the final day and ending the tourney with a 3-1 record.
In match one of the day, the Yellow Jackets faced the undefeated Millikin Big Blue, who brought a 6-0 record into the matchup against DC. Defiance was not the least bit intimidated, as the Purple and Gold jumped out to a two set lead by winning the first by a score of 26-24 and the second 25-21. The Jackets had a third set letdown and lost by a score of 25-19. Defiance regained its composure and finished off Millikin in the fourth set with a score of 25-19.
The Purple and Gold’s junior hitters Alexis Pierce and Chelsea Ludeman each had standout performances against the Big Blue. Both Pierce and Ludeman registered 16 kills in the match and combined for five blocks. Assisting on the majority of the DC points was sophomore phenom Alicia Kalik, who finished the match with 36 assists. Senior Lindsay McDaniel anchored the defensive effort with 20 digs.
The Jackets finished the invitational in thrilling fashion against the Colonels of Centre College. Defiance won the match in five sets, as the two squads see-sawed back-and-forth the entire match. Defiance started strong for the second straight match and won the first set 25-19. Centre roared back in the second and dominated the Jackets 25-8. The two teams split the next two sets with DC winning the third 27-25 and the Colonels the fourth 25-17. The Jackets dug deep and won the fifth and decisive set by a score of 15-10.
Kalik finished the invite in fine fashion for the second consecutive week. Against Centre the sophomore recorded 47 assists, matching her career-high from a season ago, 15 digs and two blocks. McDaniel followed up her 20 dig performance from earlier in the day with a career-best 31 digs against the Colonels. Defiance had three hitters surpass double digits in kills for the match. Pierce led the way with 23 followed by Ludeman with 12 and sophomore Bree Anderson adding 11.
Kalik and Pierce’s performances did not go unnoticed, as the sophomore and junior were named to the Rose-Hulman Invitational All-Tournament Team. This marks the second week in a row that Kalik has been named to an all-tourney team and the first honor of the season for Pierce. Kalik finished with 138 assists, averaging 34.5 assists per match. Pierce registered double digits in kills in three of Defiance’s four matches, including a tournament high 23 in the final match against Centre.
The two wins raise DC’s record to 6-2 on the season, the Jackets best start since 2004.
The Purple and Gold is back in action on Tuesday, September 11 for a matchup against Heidelberg. The Student Princes are currently ranked 22 in the NCAA Division III polls. The Jackets will host Heidelberg at Defiance High School with the contest beginning at 7:00 p.m.