HILLSDALE, Mich. – The Lake Erie College women's volleyball team advanced to the semifinals of the 2017 Great Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-7, 25-16) win over the Kentucky Wesleyan College Panthers on Thursday (Nov. 16) afternoon.
"I am very proud of the girls and the effort they put forth today," said Storm head coach Kevin Foeman. "Overall, I thought they did a good job of playing a well-rounded game, highlighted by a 10 kill, .750 hitting percentage by Shannon [Holsinger]. The setters set a great offense, we made the plays we needed to on defense and we served well. We are looking forward to another chance to play tomorrow!"
Lake Erie opened the match with two kills and an early 2-0 lead. The Panthers rallied and quickly tied the set at two before the teams tied three times. With the set tied 4-4, Lake Erie used two kills from Brooke Peiffer (Lansing, Mich. / Holt) and Shannon Holsinger (Roanoke, Va. / Cave Spring) and a combined block from Holsinger and Lexi Lombardo (Olmsted Falls, Ohio / Olmsted Falls), taking a 7-4 lead. The teams exchanged points as the Panthers rebounded and took an 11-10 lead. Courtney Rosebrook (Deshler, Ohio / Patrick Henry) and Sidney Fletcher (Saline, Mich. / Saline) scored two straight points with a kill and service ace, respectively. Later in the set, Kentucky Wesleyan slimmed the lead to one at 16-15 before Lake Erie went on a 4-0 run. Lake Erie forced a Panthers timeout with a 20-15 lead. With a 21-17 lead, Lake Erie ended the set with four straight points, including Fletcher's second service ace of the set. The Storm took a 1-0 set advantage with a 25-17 win.
The Panthers won the first point of the second set then the Storm answered with four straight points. Lake Erie gained a 4-1 advantage after two kills by Rosebrook. The Storm expanded the lead to 13-4 with a 10-3 run, leading into a Kentucky Wesleyan timeout. Holsinger had four kills as the Storm ended the set with a 12-3 run. Lake Erie won the middle set 25-7.
Both teams exchanged points at the outset of the third set as the teams tied six times. With the score tied 6-6, Bethany Fisher (Orrville, Ohio / Dalton) made a kill and combined on a block with Rosebrook as the Storm took an 8-6 lead. After a Panthers point, Crystal Kedroske (Dexter, Mich. / Dexter) and Peiffer gave the Storm a 10-7 lead with back-to-back kills. Lexi Lombardo forced Kentucky Wesleyan to take a timeout with a kill and a 13-10 lead. After the Panthers trimmed the lead to 15-14, Lake Erie caused a second timeout with a 4-0 run. The Storm advanced to the semifinals with a final 6-2 run, winning the set 25-16.
Peiffer led the Storm with 11 kills on offense and she finished one dig shy of a double-double with nine. Holsinger had ten kills, tying a season-high, and a .750 hitting percentage on 12 attacks. Fisher and Kedroske had nine and eight kills, respectively. Rosebrook accounted for six kills, one solo block and three block assists. Alexis Thomas (Cincinnati, Ohio / Fairfield) and Hallie Zumack (Independence, Ohio / Independence / Tusculum) each had 20 assists on the day. Thomas had ten digs on defense and Zumack tied for the team lead with two service aces. Fletcher had 17 digs on defense, leading all scorers.
The Storm will have a rematch with the #2 seed in the East, the Findlay Oilers on Friday (Nov. 17) afternoon at 5:00 PM. The Storm defeated the Oilers 3-1 in October at home.