By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Vincennes, IN---The Express women's volleyball team lost four matches this weekend in the Vincennes Invitational, although three of the four matches went five sets.
On Friday, the Express opened the invitational with a 16-25, 16-25, 16-25 loss to No. 2 Parkland College. In that match, Stephanie Kipp (16) and Bailey Dangler (11) led the team in kills, while Ciarra Wirick and Jessica Cooper each had 11 assists. Wirick added a team-high three aces, Lisa Urbanski had a team-high 15 digs and Jazmine Thomas had a team-high two blocks.
The two blocks from Thomas were the only two blocks for the Express in the match. Both were solo blocks.
In the nightcap on Friday, the Express lost 21-24, 25-16, 28-26, 21-25, 13-15 to Vincennes University. Wirick led the way with team-highs of 17 kills and 23 assists, while adding 17 digs and two assisted blocks. Thomas (11), Kipp (8) and Kenzie Kleinhenz (8) also contributed in kills, while Cooper added 20 assists.
As a team, the Express posted nine aces, with Kayla Siefker producing a team-high with four. Urbanski had a team-high 37 digs, while Cooper (21), Kennedy Geyman (11) and Wirick also helped out. Thomas had a team-high six blocks, while Kleinhenz (4) and Siefker (3) also contributed in blocks.
On Saturday, the Express opened with a 25-16, 25-16, 20-25, 20-25, 5-15 loss to Wallace State Community College - Hanceville, an NJCAA D-I team. In the match, Kipp (15), Thomas (10) and Wirick (8) led the team in kills, while Wirick added a team-high 32 assists. Cooper chipped in nine assists, while Aricka LaVoy had the team's other three assists.
The Express had 11 aces as a team, led by three each from Wirick and LaVoy. Urbanski had a team-high 27 digs, while Wirick added 13. In blocks, Thomas and Siefker each had four, while Wirick, Kipp and Dominique Yates each added three.
In their final match of the invitational, the Express dropped another tough five set match to Illinois Central College in perhaps the toughest way possible - both teams were separated by only two points each set. The set scores were 26-28, 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 17-19.
Three players had double digit kill totals for the Express, led by Wirick's 18. Tiffani Hobbs added 13 and Kleinhenz had 11. Thomas chipped in nine kills. Once again, Wirick led the way in assists with 34, while Cooper had 22 assists and a team-high two aces.
Urbanski had a season-high 40 digs in the match, while Geyman (17), Wirick (13) and Cooper (11) contributed in the same category. Thomas led the way with six blocks, while three others had two each. Five of the blocks by Thomas were of the solo nature.
The previous season-high in digs for Urbanski was 35 - against Jackson College on Sept. 14.
Wirick, who has been playing really well lately, set season-highs in digs, assists, blocks and kills this weekend. Prior to this weekend, she had not totaled double-digit kills in a match this year. This weekend, she did it twice.
Geyman's 17 digs against Illinois Central is a season-high for her, while Kipp's 15 kills against Wallace State is a season-high. Hobbs also set a season-high in kills (13) against Illinois Central.
The Express are now 10-15 overall this year. Their next action will be on the road Wednesday against Lakeland Community College at 5 p.m. Following that, the team has four straight home matches.