Indianapolis, Ind. – The University of Findlay volleyball team participated in the first day of the 2018 Midwest Region Crossover in Indianapolis, Ind. on Friday, Oct. 12. The Oilers dropped their first match of the day to no. 5 Ferris St., out of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), in five sets (26-24, 25-18, 22-25, 24-26, 13-15) and came back with a 3-1 (25-17, 25-16, 18-25, 27-25) win over Davenport, also out of the GLIAC. With the split, the Oilers are now 16-4 on the year.
Findlay entered The Academy Volleyball Center with a tough task as they were matched up against the number five team in the country, Ferris State, in the first session of the Crossover. The Oilers looked strong early as they won the first two sets, however the Bulldogs would rally to win three consecutive sets to win the match. Four out of the five sets in the match were decided by three points or less.
In the third set, the two teams were never separated by more than four points and there were five ties and in the fourth, the teams were knotted up on ten occasions. In that fourth set, Findlay trailed 21-15 but battled back to tie the score at 24-24 before dropping the final two points, forcing a fifth set.
It was another back-and-forth set in the fifth as the teams were tied seven times. With Findlay leading 13-12, the Bulldogs won three straight points to secure the victory.
Junior Izzy Murphy led the Oilers with 17 kills on 50 attacks while junior Shelby Kin had 16 kills on 30 attacks. Kin also had a team-high five blocks, three of which were solo blocks, and tied the team-best with four service aces.
Just as they did in the early game, Findlay was assertive in the opening sets, winning the first two against Davenport convincingly. The Panthers rallied to win the third set, but the Oilers, trying to avoid a second five-set match on the day, won a tightly contested fourth set 27-25 to secure the match.
In that fourth set, Findlay had a pair of long rallies late in the set that kept the team alive. With the score tied at 23-23, senior Kara Scherger ran down a ball well outside the Oilers' baseline, 40 feet from the net, and flung it back onto Davenport's side of the net and keeping the point alive. The Panthers made an error giving the Oilers momentum and a one-point lead.
At match point, a similar scenario occurred as a long rally kept the point alive long enough for Hailee Olson to pick up a kill and end the match at 27-25.
Senior Amanda Winner had a double-double in the match as she led the squad with 14 kills and was second on the team with 11 digs. She added a pair of blocks and a service ace to round out the match.
Findlay will close out their trip to Indy with a match on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 1:00 pm against Illinois-Springfield out of the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC).