GREENVILLE, Ill. – The Panthers edged the Lady Blues of IC 3-2 Thursday night, as the women put on a show for a packed HJ Long Gymnasium.
Greenville used a scoring spread of two points in each mach and an amazing fifth set comeback to eke out the 24-26, 23-25, 27-25, 26-24, 16-14 win. With the victory, the Black & Orange extend their home winning streak to 13 games, and improve their season record to 5-3.
Freshman Nicole Schaeffer headlined the Panther’s efforts in the win, leading the team in kills (15) and digs (28). Junior Ansley DeVrieze and sophomore Corinne Coon hung 11 and 10 kills respectively on the Lady Blues to help pace the squad in the match. Sophomore MB Taylor Brunner also added nice numbers in the tilt, notching seven kills from her spot.
Defensively junior Tricia Gall helped the Panthers own the net, posting seven block assists and three block solos. As a unit Greenville amassed 24 block assists and seven block solos to set the tone at midcourt.
IC drew first blood in game one, earning the 24-26 win. GC came out flat, failing to win the long rallies in the opener.
The second period proved to be much of the same, as a stunned HJ Long Gymnasium saw the Panthers drop consecutive games, this time by a spread of 25-23. IC’s defensive specialist Kayla Birdsell continued to dig repeated shots from the home offense, and helped the Lady Blues earn the 2-0 advantage and place GC on the ropes in the decisive third.
With their backs against the wall in game three, Greenville showed their resolve with a close 27-25 victory. In an effort to change the dynamic of the match, 15th year coach Tom Ackerman made a critical switch from a 6-2 to a 5-1 front. The women responded to the change, pounding a tired IC defense and extended the night match to fourth game.
In game four the Panthers once again answered the call, pulling even with IC 2-2 with a score of 26-24.
Backed by a boisterous home crowd in the all-deciding fifth, GC overcame a 14-8 deficit to clinch the match 16-14 in a thrilling fashion. Upperclassman MB Gall recorded three blocks and two kills in the comeback, while teammate DeVrieze rattled off seven straight serves to help the squad clinch the five game journey.
“Tonight’s win is the single most impressive comeback that I have seen here at GC,” stated Ackerman. “Our kids showed a ton of heart and never gave up on the game or themselves. However, we should have never been in that position, but a win is a win.”
Greenville College women’s volleyball will return to action this Saturday, September 17 as the team travels to Louisville, Kentucky for a weekend double-dip. The squad will first battle Webster University at 2:00 pm and then will face host Spalding University at 4:00 pm.