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Griffins Earn Come-From-Behind Win Against Avila

Photo credit: Ann Schmerbauch
Photo credit: Ann Schmerbauch

KANSAS CITY, Mo.— The Fontbonne University women's volleyball team earned a split in Kansas City, Mo., today. The team fell to Bethany in four sets (18-25, 13-25, 25-23, 17-25), but responded with a five-set (25-21, 17-25, 25-20, 20-25, 16-14) against host Avila.

Bethany 3 Fontbonne 1

Against the Swedes (8-17), the Griffins totaled 42 kills, a .160 hitting percentage, and 45 digs. Kristina Eason led with a team and season-high 16 kills and a .406 hitting percentage. Maura Rabun also had a strong game with 12 kills and a .250 hitting percentage.

Megan Schaller was one off her season-high with 23 assists, while Victoria Curtice and Sarah Borgerding tied with 10 digs.

Bethany, meanwhile, compiled 55 kills, 54 digs, and 14 block assists. Jordan Valentine paced with a match-high 23 kills and a .688 hitting percentage. Ivona Vojvodic handed out 45 assists, while Haley Reifsteck contributed a match-high 19 digs.

In the first set, an attack error cut the Griffins deficit down to 12-11. The Swedes answered with a 5-0 run, though the Griffins responded with a 4-0 run of its own, capped off by a service ace from Daisy Watkins to make it 17-15. However, the Swedes closed out the set on an 8-3 run for the 25-18 win.

In the second, Eason tied it up at 6-6 with a kill. The Swedes went on to put some distance between themselves and Fontbonne with a 7-0 run.

The Griffins got it down to 16-11 on Rabun's kill, but that'd be as close as they'd get with Bethany winning 25-13.

In the third, the Griffins came out rolling with a 13-4 lead on Eason's kill. As the set continued on, the Swedes chipped away at the deficit and eventually captured a 23-22 advantage on a solo block by Serenity Storey.

However, a service error, followed by a kill from Macy Neff and a Swedes attack error gave the Griffins a 25-23 win to force a fourth set.

It was all tied at 5-5 in the fourth, then the Griffins went on a 7-0 run, capped off by Eason's kill to make it 12-5. It was all Bethany the rest of the way as they closed out the match on a 20-5 run en route to the 25-17 victory.

Fontbonne 3 Avila 2

Against the Eagles, the Griffins finished with 49 kills, a .186 hitting percentage, 51 digs and tied its season-high with 14 block assists.

Curtice led them offensively with 11 kills, while Rabun contributed 10 and four block assists. Abby Grumich set a new season-high 29 assists, while Borgerding compiled 17 digs.

Avila ended the evening with 60 kills and a .211 hitting percentage. Maria Valleroy led with 15 kills and D'Ovion Williams added 12 of her own. Alexis Amon-Wilkins tied Grumich with 29 assists, while Brittany Castillo had a match-high 20 digs.

In the first set, the Griffins expanded on its 15-12 lead by going on a 3-0 run as block assists from Rabun and Eason gave them an 18-12 lead. The Eagles narrowed it down to three (24-21), but an Avila service error gave Fontbonne the opening win.

In the second, a kill from Rabun trimmed the Avila lead down to 14-9. Avila went on a quick 4-0 run and cruised to the 25-17 win to even up the match at 1-1.

It was back-and-forth play in the third, though a kill from Grumich gave Fontbonne a 15-14 advantage. Later in the set, the Eagles were down 22-20 on a Griffins service error. However, a kill and a service ace from Eason, along with an Avila service error gave Fontbonne the 25-20 win.

The fourth set belonged to the Eagles as they opened with a 15-9 lead on a service ace from Savanna Stevens. The Griffins got it down to 17-16 on an attack error, but that'd be as close as they'd get with Avila forcing a fifth and final set after the 25-20 win.

In the race to eight points in the fifth, it was the Eagles getting there first at 8-7 on Amara Meeks kill. Later, the Eagles were looking at match point with a 14-12 lead.

However, the Griffins didn't give up as an attack error, consecutive kills from Curtice and another attack error by Avila gave Fontbonne the come-from-behind 16-14 match victory.

The Griffins return to conference action next Tuesday on the road against Westminster. First-service begins at 7 p.m.

Fans make sure to stay updated on fontbonnegriffins.com throughout the year for full updates and recaps on the women's volleyball team.

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