RICHMOND, IND. -- The Defiance College volleyball team improved to 2-0 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play with a five-set victory over the Earlham College Quakers on Wednesday night.
The opening set saw the Quakers (13-6, 1-1 HCAC) storm to an 8-3 advantage early that put the Yellow Jackets (7-8, 2-0 HCAC) in a hole. The lead stayed between three and five points for most of the set, however the Yellow Jackets make a late push. Trailing 24-20, DC got a pair of kills by Morgan Porter (Defiance) and Jessi Davis (Delta) sandwiched around an Earlham error to make it a 24-23 Quaker edge. The effort proved fruitless, as a service error doomed DC as they fell, 25-23 in the first set.
Defiance came out more aggressive in the second set, jumping to a 7-2 lead. Earlham cut the deficit to 7-6, before DC jumped it back to a 10-6 lead. It stayed close for a few more points, before DC busted open the lead to as many as 10 points (22-12) late in the set, bringing home a 25-16 set two victory.
The third set began at an even spread, before Earlham grabbed three straight points to take a 12-9 lead. The Quakers grew the lead to 19-13 late in the set when DC began to rally, going on an 8-1 spurt to take a 21-20 lead. The points went back and forth all the way until the scoreboard read 27-27, when a kill by Brooke Plummer (Plain City/Jonathan Alder) and an error on Earlham gave Defiance the third set, 29-27, and a 2-1 lead.
The Yellow Jackets stalled to start the fourth set and never recovered, dropping 10 of the first 12 points and dropping to a deficit that got as large as 15 points, as the fourth stanza went in favor of Earlham, 25-10.
Earlham continued their momentum, storming to a 6-2 edge in the decisive fifth set, but another clutch kill by Porter stopped the streak. DC grabbed four of the next five points, three of them off of Earlham errors, to tie the match at 7-7. The teams exchagned points until the scoreboard read 12-11 in favor of the Quakers. DC mustered one last push, scoring four consecutive points to bring home the fifth set, 15-12, and for a hard-fought five-set win over Earlham.
The Defiance offense was led by a pair of underclassmen, as Jessi Davis and Morgan Porter finished the match with 14 kills apiece. Porter added 14 digs and two blocks, while Davis led DC with four blocks. Sophomore Emma Seitz (Toledo/Central Catholic) finished with 10 kills in the win.
Defensively, Jaidyn Patridge (Toledo/Springfield) had another stellar game, finishing with 26 pickups. Sophomore setter Madison Hollis (Burlington, Ky./Randall K. Cooper) finished the night with 43 assists and 12 digs.
The Yellow Jackets look to remain undefeated in HCAC play with a Homecoming matchup against the Mount St. Joseph University Lions on Saturday, Oct. 7. Match time is set for 1 p.m. at the Karl H. Weaner Center.