Ky. Wesleyan Volleyball wins first match of season over Lake Superior

Kentucky Wesleyan College (KWC)
Kentucky Wesleyan College (KWC)
Published: Sep. 9, 2023 at 11:00 PM CDT
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ROLLA, MO. (WFIE) - After coming close in their early matches, the Panthers finally broke through and grabbed their first win on Saturday, taking down Lake Superior State 3-1 (25-21, 28-26, 21-25, 25-22). In the nightcap, Missouri S&T took down the Panthers by a score of 3-0.

Game One

Facing the Lake Superior State Lakers in game one of the day, the Panthers started off hot, going up 13-7 midway through the first set. Lake Superior State rallied to make it 23-21 Panthers towards the end of the set, but kills from Claire Lange and Ava Rebarchik sealed the victory for the good guys. 

In set two, Lake Superior State looked as though they would take the win, as they led for most of the back half of the set. Down 24-22, Wesleyan’s Nicole Hughes notched a huge kill to make it 24-23, then two errors from the Lakers allowed Wesleyan to take back the lead. The teams went back-and-forth until a LSSU service error and an Olivia Patton kill gave Wesleyan the set win. 

Lake Superior State took advantage of some Panther errors in the third set to go on a 7-1 run late and take the set 25-21. 

The final set saw the Panthers resilience shine through. After being up for most of the set, the Lakers fought back and found themselves down by just one, 19-18. Three attack errors in a row by LSSU and an Olivia Patton kill gave Wesleyan the 23-18 lead. After another run from Lake Superior State, Ava Rebarchik put the finishing touch on the game with a massive kill to give Wesleyan the win.

Ava Rebarchik finished with 13 kills in the game, followed closely by Olivia Patton (12) and Nicole Hughes (9). Julia Kupper notched a new career high 40 assists in the match, the most for the Panther since Karrah Cron in October of 2021. Nicole Hughes (15), Stella Kleffman (10), and Olivia Patton (10) each reached double-digit digs, while Rebarchik led with three blocks.

Game Two

The Miners (5-2) held a .420 attacking percentage throughout the contest to take a straight set victory. S&T took the first set 25-17 from the Panthers and thanks to an 8-0 run in the second set, the Miners ran out to 11-4 lead in the second set and did not look back. Another run in the third set allowed S&T to build another cushion and coast to the victory, Patton finished the match with six kills while Kupper added 23 assists. 

The Panthers will open conference play next week when they host Ohio Dominican in Jones Gym on Friday, September 15th. First serve is set for 6 p.m. CT.