LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Second-seeded Lindsey Wilson College staved off a first game comeback by the University of Rio Grande and then rolled in the final two games, posting a 3-0 (28-26, 25-13, 25-16) win over the No. 3 seed RedStorm, Saturday morning, in the semifinal round of the Mid-South Conference volleyball tournament at the MidAmerica Sports Center.
The Blue Raiders, who received votes in the latest NAIA coaches poll, improved to 27-12 with the win and advanced to the tournament title game against the winner of the second semifinal contest between top-seeded Georgetown College and No. 4 seed Campbellsville University.
Rio Grande finished its season at 21-10.
Lindsey Wilson held a 20-15 lead in the first set before Rio rallied with seven straight points to take a 22-20 lead of its own. The RedStorm had three opportunities to close out the game but failed to do and the Blue Raiders scored the final three points to get the win.
Rio trailed 10-9 in game two before Lindsey Wilson scored 15 of the final 19 points to take a 2-0 lead, and the Blue Raiders finished things off by bolting to a 20-9 edge in game three and cruising to the win.
Rio Grande, which entered the match ranked fourth in the country in hitting percentage, finished with a season-low .044 percentage in the loss, including a .023 showing in each of the final two games.
Senior outside hitter Whitney Smith and sophomore right-side hitter/middle blocker Betsy Schramm shared game-high honors for the RedStorm with eight kills each. Smith also had a team-high 17 digs.
Junior setter Kelsey Martin finished with 12 digs in a losing cause, while junior defensive specialist/libero Nicole Ogg added 16 digs and senior middle blocker Erin Sherman had four blocks.
Kailey Moorhead and Sarah Anderson had 10 kills each for Lindsey Wilson, while Andrea Taylor handed out 39 assists and had 13 digs. Moorhead also had a team-best four blocks.
Kellie Ranney had 18 digs to lead a quartet of double-digit performers for the Blue Raiders. Angela Mlachnik and Kristi Hager had 16 and 14 digs, respectively.
Saturday’s game amarked the final contest in a RedStorm uniform for Smith, Sherman, senior defensive specialist/libero Lauren Raines and junior setter Kayla Landaker. Landaker will graduate in the spring and will not return next season.