DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College volleyball team sparked used a fourth-set rally to finish off the Anderson (Ind.) University Ravens, 3-1, in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action on Senior Night at the Karl H. Weaner Center.
Consecutive kills by Danielle Robbins (Westland, Mich./Wayne Memorial) started DC (10-11, 5-3 HCAC) out on the right foot as they opened with a 4-1 lead in the first set. The Ravens (10-18, 1-7 HCAC) clawed back, taking the lead and growing it as far as four points (18-14) in the set. Defiance would respond, as back-to-back kills by Marissa Windau (Castalia/Margaretta) shrunk the AU lead to 21-20. An error, followed by a kill by Jessi Davis gave the Yellow Jackets a 22-21 lead. Anderson tied the match before another spike by Windau made it 23-22, DC in front. Another kill by Jessi Davis and a Raven error gave DC the opening set, 25-22.
Anderson and Defiance played an even early second set. With the match tied at 6-6, the Purple and Gold rallied off eight of the next 10 points to take a 14-8 edge. AU cut the lead to three, before DC scored three straight to take a 19-13 lead. Defiance went on to win the second set, 25-18, to take a 2-0 advantage.
The Yellow Jackets dominated the early stages of the third set, taking off to a quick 9-3 lead. But four straight Raven points cut the deficit to 9-7. The teams exchanged points, making it a 10-8 DC lead, when the Ravens scored five straight again to take a three-point lead. The Ravens grew the lead to as many as seven points in the set, going on to take it, 25-19, making it a 2-1 Defiance lead in the match.
Defiance got to an early lead and kept it at 2-3 points in the early portions of the fourth. With Defiance holding a 13-10 lead, the Ravens rallied by going on a 10-2 spurt to take a 20-15 lead. DC responded, though, by scoring six of the next seven and tying the match at 21-21 on an ace by Abigail Cronin (Lambertville, Mich./Cardinal Stritch Catholic). Three straight points by the Ravens saw them get the score to 24-21. With a fifth set looming, Windau sparked a comeback with a kill and an ace to cut the deficit to 24-23. Jessi Davis followed it up with a kill to tie the match, before another ace by Windau made it a 25-24 DC lead. Freshman Morgan Porter (Defiance) wrapped up the match with a spike to give DC a 26-24 win in the set and a 3-1 match victory.
The Yellow Jacket attack was led by Windau, who finished the match with eight kills. She also wrapped up the match with five aces. Jessi Davis added seven spikes, whileBrooke Plummer (Plain City/Jonathan Alder) and Robbins added five kills. Cronin led DC in setting with 15 assists, while Madison Hollis (Burlington, Ky./Randall K. Cooper) added in nine.
Senior Jaidyn Patridge (Toledo/Springfield) led the back row with 21 digs on Senior Night, while Windau finished with 13 pickups and Cronin added 10. Sophomore Emma Seitz (Toledo/Central Catholic) led the front row with five blocks and Jessi Davis chipped in with four.
The Yellow Jackets also clinched a spot in the HCAC Tournament with the victory.
In between sets one and two, Defiance also honored seniors Mackenzie Combs and Courtney Alexander of the women's tennis team.
Defiance wraps up the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 28 with a trip to Terre Haute, Ind. for a key HCAC matchup against Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. The match is set for a 1 p.m. start.