MCPHERSON — The Lady Braves haven’t lost a conference match since 2015, but got their biggest test Saturday.
A five-set win at McPherson College was not only the Ottawa University volleyball team’s closest margin of the season, but sets up a match between the top two teams int the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Ottawa (11-5, 5-0 KCAC) plays 7 p.m. Wednesday at Kansas Wesleyan (9-3, 5-0) in Salina.
The Lady Coyotes are coming off a five-set win of their own after narrowly topping Saint Mary Saturday in Leavenworth.
Against McPherson, OU dug a hole early after dropping the first two sets of its match at McPherson College, 25-17, 27-25.
Ottawa responded by scoring the first eight points of the third set, ultimately winning 25-15.
The Lady Bulldogs took a 20-17 lead in the fourth set, before Ottawa stormed back. Four kills, two by Taylor Fortner, junior outside hitter, and four errors by McPherson led to an 8-1 swing, giving Ottawa the 25-21 win.
With Ottawa leading 14-12 in the final set, Fortner executed the kill, assisted by Adriana Skipper, senior setter, to end the match, and keep the Lady Braves spotless in KCAC play.
Ottawa edged the Lady Bulldogs in attacking percentage, .225-.217. Ottawa had 12 blocks to McPherson’s five, led by emerging middle blocker Makayla Aspergren, sophomore, who had five block assists. Ottawa had just two blocking errors.
The Lady Braves also had nine service aces to McPherson’s four.
Kenna Hall, junior middle blocker, led the OU offense with 20 kills. Fortner finished with 11 kills and just three errors. Kaylee Whittington, junior outside hitter, also had 11 kills for the Lady Braves.