MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Following a week off from competition, the RU volleyball team returned to the court on Friday night to face the MSOE Raiders. Rockford entered the match looking for its first NACC win of the season, but ultimately came up short after a difficult start. However despite that rough start, Rockford never surrendered and played its best volleyball of the evening in the final set. Unfortunately it was not enough though, as the Regents fell to the Radiers 25-14, 25-15 and 26-24.
Rockford struggled in the opening two sets of the match as the Regents dug themselves into an early hole in each set that they were never able to get out of. However despite those early struggles, the ladies continued to fight and battle giving MSOE all it could handle in the third set. The Regents used a balanced attack early on in the third as four different players recorded kills helping Rockford jump out to an 11-8 lead. Freshman Emily Johannes (Eau Claire, Wis.) jump-started the Rockford offense with three of the eleven points including back-to-back kills to open the set. The ladies would extend their lead to as many as five points on two separate occasions with the first coming at 17-12 following a Johannes ace and an MSOE attack error. The two schools would trade points over the next few minutes as Rockford moved to within a single point of winning the third set at 24-20. Unfortunately the Raiders got hot in the closing moments, going on a 6-0 run to win the set and the match.
Rockford continued to show signs of improvement on Friday as multiple individuals played very well. Junior Maddison Hiland (Bellevue, Iowa) tallied double-digit kills for the second straight match as she recorded a match-high 10 kills. She rounded out her stat line with 7 digs, 2 assists and 1 block assist. Emily Johannes played an excellent final set to finish with 7 kills, 6 digs, 1 assist and 1 block assist. Sophomore setter Kayla Barthels (Fort Worth, Texas) narrowly missed her fifth double-double of the season tallying a match-high 24 assists, 9 digs, 2 total blocks and 1 ace. Defensive specialists August Guest (Lahaina, Hawaii) and Jennifer Quintas (Rockford, Ill.) finished with 9 and 8 digs respectively.
The RU volleyball team returns to the court on Saturday, October 7 at Concordia University Wisconsin. The match has a scheduled start time of noon.