Lady Blues win twice to finish Rockhurst Classic

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The No. 16 Lady Blues won a pair of matches Saturday to finish the Rockhurst Classic 3-1. They beat Missouri-St. Louis, 3-1 (30-20, 30-17, 27-30, 30-19) and then took Colorado-Colorado Springs in three games, 30-19, 30-23, 30-21.

Game 1 vs UMSL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Senior Tessa Jones had a season-high 23 kills and hit .476 as the Lady Blues won, 3-1 (30-20, 30-17, 27-30, 30-19) against Missouri-St. Louis in their first match of the Rockhurst Classic Saturday morning.

No. 16 Washburn will finish action at RU with a 2 p.m. game with Colorado-Colorado Springs.

Jones had just three errors in 42 attempts, leading a Washburn offense that hit .247 during the match. Junior Stephanie Nitz had eight kills and had a .300 attack percentage and freshman Caitlin Conley had seven kills with a .263 percentage.

Sophomore Kate Hampson played three of the four games and led the Lady Blues with 40 assists while junior Carolyn Raynes had 13 in the third game.

On defense senior Erica Cowhick had 23 digs and freshman Molly Smith reached double figures for the fourth time this year with 10. Nitz led with seven blocks including a pair of solo efforts.

The Lady Blues had a chance to sweep the Tritons. Down 14-8 in the third game, they fought back and tied the score at 26-26. After a pair of UMSL kills Washburn called a timeout and then got the serve back after a service error. Washburn then had an attack error and the Tritons followed with a kill to win the game.

In game four Washburn tied the score at 5-5 and then led throughout after that. The Lady Blues went on a 4-0 run ending with an ace by Hampson to lead, 14-8 and then they went up by 10 at 25-15. They closed out the match on a kill by senior Mandi Cox and a UMSL attack error.

Game 2 vs UCCS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Lady Blues finished the Rockhurst Classic strong with a 30-19, 30-23, 30-21 sweep over Colorado-Colorado Springs Saturday afteroon. No 16 Washburn (8-1) will play its home debut Tuesday night against Missouri-Rolla at 7 p.m. in Lee Arena.

Washburn hit .240 as a team with the help of some big performances. Junior Stephanie Nitz hit a career-high .643 with 10 kills and just one error in 14 attempts while Mandi Cox set down eight of her 18 attacks with no errors for a .444 percentage. Junior Monica Miesner hit .333 and had a double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs.

Sophomore Kate Hampson led the offense with 42 assists and added a double-double with 12 digs. The Washburn defense was led by senior Erica Cowhick with 20 digs and Nitz with three blocks.

Senior Tessa Jones had nine kills, moving her to 976 in her career and putting her 24 away from becoming the 11th Lady Blue to reach 1,000.

After a quick win in the opening game the Lady Blues fell behind 3-0 to the Mountain Lions. WU fought back and took the lead at 5-4 to kick start a 7-0 run. Late in the game Washburn scored on five straight errors by UCCS to lead 28-17 but then the Mountain Lions took advantage of six straight Washburn errors to come within five at 28-23. Miesner then forced game point with a kill and then UCCS had an attack error to give Washburn the win.

In the third game the Lady Blues hit .341 as a team and used a quick start, leading by scores of 10-4 and 16-9 to secure the match win.


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