Davenport, Iowa – An all-around team effort helped lead Viterbo University to a 3-1 win over St. Ambrose University in their Midwest Collegiate Conference opener.
After taking an early 10-5 lead in the first set, the V-Hawks went on a 12-2 run to take a 22-7 lead. St. Ambrose would put together a mini 4-0 run but Viterbo would side out and score the final three points to win the first set 25-11. Senior Katie Flock (Sparta, Wis.) led the V-Hawks in the first set with seven kills.
In the second set, the Queen Bees jumped out to an early 11-5 lead. The V-Hawks would slowly chip away at their deficit and eventually took a 17-16 lead. Both teams would trade points back and forth before SAU scored five of the final seven points to win the second set 25-22.
The third set got off to a slow start as the game was tied at six after the first twelve points. The V-Hawks slowly pulled away and took a 17-13 lead before they pulled away completely. Viterbo would score eight of the next eleven points and won the third set 25-17. The third set may have been won at the net as the V-Hawks finished with 12 assisted blocks or 6 total team blocks. Hannah Ripp (Sr. – Merrilan, Wis.), Erica Willadsen (Jr. – Cochran, Wis.) and Flock each assisted on three blocks to lead the charge at the net.
The fourth set was the closest set of the night as neither team led by more than two points over the first 30 points as the game was tied at 15 midway through. After St. Ambrose tied the score at 21, Viterbo scored the final four points to win the fourth set 25-21. Flock again led the V-Hawks with six kills while Alicia Olson (So. – Eau Claire, Wis.) added five kills in the fourth set.
Everything seemed to be working for the V-Hawks tonight as both their offense and their defense was clicking. As a team, the V-Hawk hit .292 for the match and finished with remarkable 19 total team blocks. Olson and Flock each pounded home 21 kills to lead the V-Hawks with both of them hitting over .300 for the match. Sophomore Brianna Brinkman (St. Charles, Minn.) set up the efficient offense with 53 assists while senior Jordan Blaken (Melrose, Wis.) finished with 17 digs. The other big stats of the night came from Ripp and Willadsen who combined for 16 kills, 2 solo blocks and 14 assisted blocks.
The win improves Viterbo to 16-4 overall and 1-0 in the Midwest Collegiate Conference while St. Ambrose loses for the first time this season as they are 9-1 overall and 0-1 in the MCC. Viterbo, ranked 21st in the latest edition of the NAIA Top-25 poll, will take the weekend off and will be back in action next when they host Waldorf College next Thursday night at 7:00 pm.