Lindsey Wilson Volleyball takes MSC Tournament title with 3-0 win over Thomas More
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Top-seeded Lindsey Wilson volleyball captured its fifth straight Mid-South Conference Tournament title tonight with a 3-0 win over second-seeded Thomas More (Ky.) at Bowling Green Arena.
With the win, the Blue Raiders (29-5) earn the Mid-South Conference’s automatic bid into the NAIA National Tournament.
A balanced attack — with four Blue Raiders tallying at least seven kills — helped Lindsey Wilson outhit the Saints (24-8) .265 to .137 in the match to win 25-11, 25-20, 27-25.
MSC Player of the Year Kasia Niderla led the way for the Blue Raiders with 12 kills while Alexis Smith chipped in 10. Elly Burke finished with eight while Jelena Lazovic added seven without and error for a team-high .350 hitting percentage.
Niderla added four blocks to control the net while Lauren Larzelere posted a match-high 17 digs.
Lindsey Wilson dominated the opening set despite a fast start from the Saints.
Thomas More won four of the first five points, but it was all Lindsey Wilson from there. The Blue Raiders scored four straight and seven of the next eight to take an 8-5 lead. A pair of service aces — one from Niderla and the other from Abby Grubbs — fueled the Lindsey Wilson run.
Leading 10-8, the Blue Raiders ran off six straight points to take a 16-8 lead. Peyton Johnston provided a service ace and Burke added two kills during the spurt. After Thomas More closed to within 17-11, the Blue Raiders closed out the set winning the final eight points for the 25-11 first-set win. Niderla recorded three kills during the run while Lazovic chipped in two.
The Blue Raiders finished the set hitting .364 while the Saints committed six hitting errors for a .036 attack.
Lindsey Wilson once again had to overcome a slow start to take the second set 25-20.
Niderla and Smith led the way in the set with a combined 11 of the Blue Raiders’ 15 kills in the set. Camryn Rich assisted on all 15 kills in the set and ended with a match-high 31 assists.
Leading 16-15, Lindsey Wilson ran off three straight points to give the Blue Raiders some breathing room. The Saints managed to climb within three points on three different occasions but could get no closer as the Blue Raiders took the set 25-20 to take a 2-0 lead.
The third set proved to be the most competitive.
The Blue Raiders looked to be cruising to the win, leading 20-16. The Saints turned the table and went on a 4-0 run to tie the set at 20-20. The two teams exchanged points with Thomas More ultimately taking a 23-22 lead.
Following a Lindsey Wilson timeout, back-to-back Saints errors handed the Blue Raiders match point at 24-23. The Saints fought off that match point and one more before Burke slammed her eighth kill into the hardwood giving the Blue Raiders the 27-25 third-set win and the tournament title.
Lindsey Wilson is expected to advance directly to the final site of the NAIA Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa. The tournament field is scheduled to be announced on Monday, Nov. 18.