Sept. 4, 2004
Truman Volleyball Off To One Of Its Best Starts In School History
North Dakota Box Score | Southern Indiana Box Score
Grand Valley Box Score | West Texas A&M Box Score
The Truman volleyball team is off to one of its best starts in school history as it moved to 8-0 on the season with a 4-0 weekend at the Grand Valley State Tournament.
At the tournament, Truman knocked off North Dakota, Southern Indiana, Grand Valley State and West Texas A&M. The host school was ranked 10th in the preseason poll while Southern Indiana and West Texas A&M both entered the weekend with undefeated records.
Jessica Sears was named MVP of the tournament and Rebecca Knefelkamp was also named to the 10-member all-tournament team.
On the Bulldogs' quick start this year, they have defeated four top-25 teams, all by 3-0 scores. Two of those teams, Grand Valley and Tampa, were top-10 schools. Only one other top-10 preseason team, No. 3 Nebraska-Kearney, is still undefeated on the season.
Truman has gotten good balance on the early season. Six hitters have played in at least 67% of the team's games and are averaging over two kills a contest. Sarah Shearman leads the Bulldog attack with just under four kills a game.
The team is currently using a setter by committee system. Five different Bulldogs are averaging at least one assist a game. Defense is again the team's strength though. Truman is averaging 20.73 digs a game and opponents are hitting just .154 agaisnt them. Again, everyone is contributing to this as six different Bulldog regulars are averaging at least two digs a game.
Truman is in action again on Tuesday when it travels to perennial NAIA power Columbia College (Mo.) for a 7 p.m. match. The Bulldogs need three more wins to tie the best start in school history of 11-0, which was set by the 2001 squad.
Truman volleyball had a good start at the Grand Valley State Tournament, winning a pair of games on Friday against North Dakota and Southern Indiana.
Truman volleyball hit just under .300 as it moved to 5-0 on the season with a 30-22, 30-18, 30-24 victory over North Dakota.
The Bulldogs jumped out to big leads in the first two games of the contest. In game three, Truman trailed 22-21 before closing out the match on a 9-2 run. In that final run, Rebecca Knefelkamp and Micaela Walter played strong roles with their serving.
Alex Baker led the team with 11 kills in the match, followed by Sarah Shearman with nine and Melanie Jones with eight. Shearman hit .818 in the match and Megan Remley had a .750 percentage, the top numbers on a balanced Bulldog attack.
Knefelkamp led the team with 20 assists and Christine Wagener added 15. Kelsey Wackerman and Shearman had team-highs of nine digs and Baker paced the squad with three blocks.
North Dakota was led by Kendyll Jones who had 11 kills and 10 digs in the match. Tara Holmen added 10 kills and seven blocks.
Against Southern Indiana, Truman dropped its first game of the season but still remained undefeated on the year with a 30-21, 30-32, 30-21, 30-21 over the previously undefeated squad of Southern Indiana.
The Bulldogs won with a strong defense that had nine blocks and 95 digs in the match. The scrappy Screaming Eagle team had 76 digs in the game but hit just .170 compared to the .293 mark of the Bulldogs.
Game one was close as Truman led by a 22-18 margin before going on a 6-0 run to put the game away.
Truman fell in a big hole in the second game, falling behind 14-7 early on. The Bulldogs regained the lead though thanks to a 9-0 run, eight points with Jessica Sears serving. That run gave the Bulldogs a 22-19 lead but Southern Indiana didnít go away. There were six ties the rest of the way with Truman twice saving game point. Southern Indiana was able to convert on its third game point and won the game 32-30.
The Bulldogs took over the contest after that. They trailed just once in game three, by a 1-0 score, and used a 7-1 run to propel them to a 30-21 win. In the fourth game, Truman had a narrow lead at 18-17 before closing out the match on a 12-4 run.
Three Truman players had double-doubles in the contest. Sarah Shearman had a team-high 23 kills and added 17 digs. Sears recorded 20 kills and a team-high 21 digs. She also hit .500 in the match. Kelsey Wackerman ended the contest with 15 kills and 11 digs.
Rebecca Knefelkamp led the Bulldogs with 29 assists and she collected 10 digs. Christine Wagener had 25 assists and Tiffany Graham was in double-figures in digs with 11.
For the second time on the young season, the Bulldog volleyball team swept a top-10 opponent. Playing against the host school at the Grand Valley State tournament, Truman came out on top by scores of 30-27, 30-26, 30-27.
All three games featured hard fought points and a lot of sideouts. In the end, though, Truman collected 11 more kills and one more block than the Lakers to help them win three tight games.
In the first game, the Bulldogs used a 10-4 run to grab a 17-9 lead. Truman struggled on its serving the rest of the game, scoring just two points off the serve the rest of the way. Five times, the Lakers got within two points but the Bulldogs prevailed by three points.
Game two was similar in that Truman had the lead down the stretch. Again, it was a 10-4 run that gave them a five-point advantage at 22-17. Grand Valley cut the lead to one at 25-24, but four straight Bulldog kills, two by Jessica Sears and two by Kelsey Wackerman gave Truman control of the game.
In the final game, the Lakers took the lead early and looked like they were going to force a fourth game. Truman was down 25-21 before going on a 9-2 run to close out the match. Four different Bulldogs had kills in that final stretch and they were able to take advantage of several Laker miscues as well.
Sears led the Bulldogs in the match with 15 kills and a .303 hitting percentage. Kelsey Wackerman was in double-figures in kills as well with 13 and Micaela Walter added nine kills.
All nine Bulldogs who saw action recorded at least one assist. Tiffany Graham led the team in digs with 13 and Sarah Shearman and Lauren Dickbernd each collected 11 digs apiece.
In the second game of the afternoon, Truman defeated West Texas A&M by scores of 30-26, 28-30, 30-16, 30-9.
After splitting the first two games, the Bulldogs took control of the match. Leading 10-6 in the third game, they outscored West Texas 20-10 from there to win the game. Truman hit .500 in that game.
In the final game, Truman scored the first 13 points and rolled from there. With Sears serving, Truman used strong hitting and blocking to jump out to the big lead.
Truman held West Texas A&M to just a .050 hitting percentage in the game, while hitting .235 themselves. The Bulldogs had 14 blocks in the game, tying the most by a Truman team in a four-game match since 2001.
Megan Remley led the team with 15 kills and a .542 hitting percentage. Alex Baker was in double-figures with 12 kills. Christine Wagener was one of three Bulldogs with double-digit assists as she recorded 21. Lauren Dickbernd led the team with 13 digs and Sears, Rebecca Knefelkamp, Tiffany Graham and Sarah Shearman also had 10 or more digs. Shearman led the block parade with seven block assists.
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