The Seattle University volleyball team struggled offensively in its first match of the day Saturday, losing to the University of San Francisco, 3-0, before fighting back against the host Wyoming Cowgirls in Saturday night's match, but the home team was able to hold on for a 3-1 victory to conclude the UniWyo Wyoming Invitational at the UniWyo Sports Complex.
Senior Kaytlyn Dill (Bothell, Wash.) was named to the All-Tournament Team at the conclusion of the night. Over the weekend's four matches, she collected 55 kills (3.67 kills/set), six service aces, 34 defensive digs (2.27 digs/set), and five total blocks.
San Francisco 3, Seattle University 0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-18)
With the score tied at 3-3 in the opening set, San Francisco scored five unanswered points, but Seattle U came right back with five straight points of its own to cause another tie at 8-8. The Dons would outscore the Redhawks, 11-3, to open a 19-11 advantage, but back-to-back kills by Dill closed the gap to five points before San Francisco closed out the first set.
Four unanswered points by San Francisco early in the second set put the Dons ahead, 9-5, and then San Francisco would expand its advantage to 20-10 thanks to an 11-4 scoring run. A block assist and a kill from Dill would bring the Redhawks to within six, but consecutive kills from USF's Jocelyn Levig and Leanna Ludes gave the Dons the 2-0 match lead.
The Dons scored four of the first five points in the third set, but Seattle U stayed within striking distance thanks in large part to four early kills by Karli Pedone (Granite Bay, Calif.). San Francisco took control of the set with a 9-3 scoring run to set up match point, but on Pedone's serve, the Redhawks scored three straight points before the Dons finally closed out the match on a block by Levig and Anja Segota.
Dill led Seattle U with 10 kills, nine defensive digs, and two total blocks, and Jacquie Brice (Fullerton, Calif.) contributed 21 assists and eight digs. However, the Redhawks posted a .000 hitting percentage in the match and were behind the Dons in every statistical category.
Wyoming 3, Seattle University 1 (25-19, 25-14, 25-27, 25-23)
The first half of the opening set was extremely close, with eight ties and four lead changes by the time the score was knotted at 13-13. Wyoming opened up the margin with a 9-1 scoring run, but Seattle U would hold off the Cowgirls at set point three times before the home team finally converted on a kill by Reese Plante.
Dill scored five of Seattle U's first six points of the second set with kills, but Wyoming slowly opened up a six-point lead at 16-10, punctuated by two kills and a block assist by Erin Kirby. The Cowgirls scored the final five points of the set, concluding with a service ace by Jodi Purdy and a kill from Bridget Shanahan.
There were 14 ties and five lead changes in the third set as Seattle U fought to keep the match going. Again, it was Dill leading the way with three of the Redhawks' final five points, but she had help thanks to a service ace by Kelly Biette (Brighton, Colo.) and a kill from Sarah Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo.) to force a fourth set.
A service ace by Becky Stewart gave Wyoming a 7-3 lead in the fourth set, and the two teams would proceed to split the next 14 points evenly. Back-to-back service aces by McKenzie Daniels (Edmonds, Wash.) would help the Redhawks pull into a 14-14 tie. Kills by Biette and Dill, followed by a block from Allison Farley (Happy Valley, Ore.) put Seattle U ahead, 22-20, but Wyoming would earn five of the final six points, punctuated by a block by Shanahan and Plante, to end the set and the match.
Dill finished with a match-high 21 kills along with eight digs, and Jaeckel contributed 15 kills, five digs, and two total blocks. Brice dished out 42 assists to go along with eight digs of her own, Biette added five kills and four total blocks, and Lani Beadle (Seattle, Wash.) led the team with 12 defensive digs.
Seattle University (2-2) will head back on the road next weekend for the Cougar Challenge in Pullman, Wash., first facing Weber State and host Washington State Friday, Aug. 31, before concluding the weekend with a contest against Alabama State Saturday, Sept. 1.