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The Scarlet & Black

Volleyball nearly breaks record at Lawrence

Last Saturday Payton Lowrey ’22 served a total of 9 aces against Lawrence University, falling one short of the school record and helping secure a Pioneer win. Photo by Ariel Richards

The volleyball team opened up conference play last Saturday by beating Lawrence University in three sets (25–17, 25–16, 25–13).  Payton Lowrey ’22 was the star of the match, as she served a whopping nine aces on the day, falling one shy of the school record. “It was really cool to see Payton do that. She’s been working really hard practicing her serves, so it was really cool to see it pay off in a game,” said teammate Rachel Woock ’23.  

 The match started off close with the two teams tied 8–8 in the first set. However, after a four-point run by the Pioneers featuring kills from Kaylin Kuhn ’21 and Woock, the team eased their way to a first set victory. In the second set, Lowrey made her big run. After Woock got a kill to regain the team’s serve, Lowrey served 11 straight points, including four aces, to boost the team.   

 “Honestly, I was just tired. There wasn’t a lot of playing in between those, so it was just a lot of serves over and over again. It was unusual to get that many aces, so it was a little weird,” Lowrey said. Lowrey continued her hot streak into the third set, serving the first four points, which included two aces. Julianna Roth ’22 also served six points in a row in the third set to secure the win.   

 While nearly breaking a school record is impressive regardless of the opponent, Lowrey made it clear that Lawrence wasn’t close to competing at the Pioneers’ level. “Throwing them out of their system was really easy. We watched film beforehand and pinpointed some of their weaker serve-receivers. Lawrence is not as strong as a lot of the teams we’ve faced,” Lowrey said. When looking at the scorecard, the team hit a stellar .329 for the match. Kuhn led the way with 13 kills, and Woock reached double digits with 10 kills. Roth also added 27 assists, while Lowrey had 10 digs. After their first MWC game, the team now claims a superb 15–2 record on the year.  

 The players highlight how team culture has played an instrumental role in leading to their breakout season.  “We’re a really good team and really cohesive, in that a lot of people know their role and do it very well. Even if people aren’t playing, they’re still contributing a lot. Those are very important aspects in volleyball, and we do that very well,” Lowry said.  

 Up next, the Pioneers host Lake Forest College on Friday, who they lost to last year, and Beloit College on Saturday.  However, looking down the road, their matchup against St. Norbert College on October 18 may be their biggest test of the year. They lost to them 2–3 in a tense MWC semifinal match last year and will likely have to beat them this year if they hope to win the MWC championship.   

For now, the Pioneers are looking forward to taking on one conference game at a time. “We’re really excited for MWC competition. It’s going to be a great opportunity to see all of our hard work pay off,” Woock said.  

Last Saturday Payton Lowrey ’22 served a total of 9 aces against Lawrence University, falling one short of the school record and helping secure a Pioneer win. Photo by Ariel Richards
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