Kansas Wesleyan volleyball hosted defending conference champion Ottawa on Saturday at Mabee Arena, and the Coyotes hung right with the Braves but came up short in four sets – 25-21, 19-25, 25-22, 25-22.
The opening set was close the entire way. It was tied 10-10 when Ottawa would push out to a 13-11 lead and the Braves would maintain the lead, despite the Coyotes getting within a point at 18-17 on an error by Ottawa.
Ottawa would push its lead out to 21-17 forcing a KWU timeout, but the Coyotes couldn't find the momentum to come back falling 25-21 in the first set.
The Coyotes jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the second set, but Ottawa got back within a point at 11-10. A solo block by Hardacre put the Coyotes up 12-10. Ottawa would tie it 12-all, but five straight points from the Coyotes behind the serve of Cortney Hanna (JR/Lawrence) and a pair of Chelsea James (JR/Wichita) kills put the Coyotes up 17-12.
Ottawa got within two at 19-17 but a Hardacre and James block kept the Coyotes out in front and Maddy Beckett (JR/Halstead)'s kill would give the set to the Coyotes.
KWU took a 6-2 lead to start the third set and led 11-7 when Ottawa made a run, outscoring the Coyotes 10-1 to take a 17-12 lead. Back came the Coyotes, sparked by Hardacre's kill, the Coyotes drew even at 20-all on a hitting error by Ottawa, and took the lead on a kill by James and extended the lead to 22-20 on a kill by Hanna.
Ottawa regrouped after a timeout and outscored the Coyotes 5-0 the rest of the way to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The fourth set went back and forth and was within a point at 16-15 in favor of Ottawa when the Braves would push their lead out to 20-15. Back-to-back kills by Melinna Schumann (FR/Sabetha) got the Coyotes back within a point at 20-19, but the Coyotes found themselves down 24-20 in the match. KWU scored two in a row to get within two at 24-22, but Ottawa closed out the match for the win.
Beckett and Morgan Bryand (JR/Wichita) had 10 kills each for the Coyotes. Hanna had 22 assists and Deckinger had 21. Schumann added 28 digs for a new career high along with Monson's 35. Beckett had 13 digs, and Hanna and Deckinger 12 each. Hardacre added six blocks and James had four.
Wesleyan is back in action on Tuesday at York.