November 6, 2019
The Western Illinois women’s volleyball team took to the court at Western Hall this past Sunday to take on the North Dakota State University Bison. The match went for four sets with the visiting Bison taking home the victory, 3-1.
The Leathernecks went into the game after duking it out against North Dakota on Friday, but barely lost that match as well, 3-2, leaving the team tired but ready for NDSU. The Leathernecks came out of the game fast, getting out to a three point lead. After the Bison tied it up a few minutes later, Western took another lead thanks to junior Cassie Hunt, who got an ace. This ace set up a little run for the Leathernecks who weren’t caught until the set was tied up again at 11 all. From there, on, the Leathernecks cruised to a first set victory of 25-19.
The second set between the two squads was a much more fiercely contested set. The teams went back and forth with each other, resulting in a 21 tie. This tie ended up being broken by a Bison push that saw the away team take the second set by a score of 25-21, evening things up at one apiece.
The third set was once again back and forth between the teams. The Leathernecks were in a good spot and pushing towards a victory midway through the set, when the Bison equalized things thanks to their offensive barrage. This barrage was good enough to help the Bison take the lead and force things in their direction. The Leathernecks fought back to equalize things at 19 all. From there, the teams fought back and forth for the final points in the set, but after a 25-25 point stall, the Bison scored the final two points needed to win the sets, giving them a one-set advantage.
With the match on the line, the Leathernecks were looking for something to go their way in the fourth set. Just as the last set had ended, this set seemed to pick right back up from where it ended. There was a tie in the game until the Bison secured a small lead at 15-13. The set remained at a two point distance the rest of the way until the Leathernecks tied the game at 18. Ultimately, Western’s push to win the fourth set was all for naught as NDSU took the fourth set 25-22.
While the Leathernecks might have lost the game, there were some bright spots to note. Freshman Gabby DePersio was a force on the court, recording 22 digs between the four sets. The team also kept their errors down, with eight less than the Bison.
This season hasn’t gone the way that was intended for this team. However, with the season starting to wind down, every game becomes more and more important, as it might be the last time playing the sport for some of the players. The next game will be on the road against Oral Roberts on Friday, with two more home games left to play before the team heads to The Summit League Championships.