On Thursday, the Lincoln College Women’s Volleyball team hosted the Illinois Valley CC Eagles for their final home match of the 2016 season. Prior to the start of play, the Lady Lynx recognized four graduating players. Senior Erin Rankin, and sophomores Melanie Murray, Kenzie Cooper and Brighton Robbins were introduced along with family members who have supported them at LC. All four players then contributed to the team’s four set victory over IVCC.
Lincoln came out fired up for set one and cruised to a 25-16 win thanks in part to the defense and ball control provided by libero Melanie Murray and defensive specialist Brighton Robbins. Murray recorded three of her team high seven digs in the match during this set, and Robbins served four points from behind the service line.
In set two, IVCC came alive on defense to slow down Lincoln’s attackers and played well enough to keep within two or three points of the lead most of the way. Defensive specialist Erin Rankin had four digs and served four points in the set, but it was not enough as IVCC came from behind late to win 25-23.
Lincoln regrouped in set three and stopped the Eagle’s momentum by serving consistently and keeping their opponents off balance with a variety of attacks. Setter Abbi Buelow spread the ball around effectively and found five different hitters for kills in the set. Buelow connected with sophomore Kenzie Cooper three times to add to her team high total of 14 set assists in the match. Lincoln won the set 25-22.
Set four again saw Lincoln grab the lead early at 7-2. This time the Lynx were sparked by the offense of freshmen Kaylyn Hoffert and Cassidy Sanneman. Hoffert tallied four of her team high ten kills in the match during this set while Sanneman pitched in five service points and two kills. The set ended by a score of 25-19 on a powerful kill from freshman right side Mattie Giese, who returned to the lineup after being out with a forearm injury.
The victory pushes Lincoln’s final regular season record to 22-12. LC begins post-season play on Wednesday, November 2nd with a 6:00 PM match at Illinois Central College. Lincoln is the #6 seed in Region XXIV and faces the #3 seeded ICC Cougars. Lincoln and ICC met during the regular season once and ICC came out on top in five sets.
LC Coach Mark Tippett: “After set one, IVCC really played well defensively and they had one middle hitter who was very hard for us to stop. I was pleased that we were able to adjust and pick up our intensity to match theirs in sets three and four. It’s nice that we got a good match to end up our regular season because it will help prepare us for the level of play we will need to maintain in order to advance in the Region playoffs next week. I am also happy for our graduating players to go out on a win in their final home match. All four of them have been fun to coach and they have represented our program very well both on and off the court. I am certain they each have bright futures ahead of them.”
Kaylyn Hoffert 10 kills, 3 points
Abbi Buelow 4 points, 14 set assists
Erin Rankin 6 points, 4 digs
Mattie Giese 4 kills, 1 block
Kenzie Cooper 5 kills, 3 digs
Mikayla Siebert 5 kills
Melanie Murray 7 digs, 5 points
Cassidy Sanneman 3 kills, 11 points
Elysa Smith 4 kills, 2 blocks
Brighton Robbins 3 digs, 8 points