Chiefs lead early, rally late to edge 16th-ranked Illinois Central

Chiefs lead early, rally late to edge 16th-ranked Illinois Central

(Sugar Grove, IL.) - Waubonsee Community College's volleyball squad opened its' 2018 season with a thrilling victory over Illinois Central College in the Chiefs' Invitational Tournament. Waubonsee edged the Cougars, ranked 16th nationally in the NJCAA's Division II Pre-season poll, three games to two.

Sparked by a pair of resounding spikes by Kayla Battle midway through the first game, the Chiefs (1-0) took control and went on to secure a 25-19 victory. The second game was also close midway through as the Cougars held a 10-8 lead. Waubonsee then proceeded to tally the next six points behind the serving of Natalie Jones to grab a 14-10 advantage. A 12-2 Chiefs' run put them in front 20-12 as they went on to a 25-20 win and a commanding two games to none lead. Waubonsee then appeared well on its way to a three-game sweep holding a 23-16 lead in the third game before Illinois Central mounted a fantastic comeback. The Cougars scored nine of the next 10 points to suddenly go ahead 25-24. After a Chiefs' timeout the teams traded points until the Cougars finally prevailed 31-29 to stay alive.

Illinois Central grabbed an 8-3 lead early in the fourth game before Waubonsee responded with a 12-1 run to jump in front 15-9. Moments later the Chiefs led 18-13, but the Cougars rallied again scoring six straight points to take a 19-18 lead. Another big kill by Battle, one of her 14 on the day, knotted the score at 19-all. However, Illinois Central made several big plays down the stretch to grab a 25-23 victory and force a fifth and final game.

The Cougars kept their momentum going and took a quick 5-0 lead on a serving ace in the deciding game. Once again it was a kill by Battle that stopped the bleeding for Waubonsee. Trailing 6-1 the Chiefs started to find their second wind and were able to knot the score at 11-all courtesy of the service error by the Cougars. A block by Battle and a serving ace by Kendall Iversen put the Chiefs ahead 13-11. Another service error by Illinois Central allowed Waubonsee to get to match point at 14-12 where the Chiefs' finished off upset victory.

Waubonsee overcame service errors of their own, committing 14 miscues in the match. Battle finished with 14 kills and five blocks, while Maizy Larson tallied a dozen kills. Sidney Fedor added 11 kills and four blocks, Jones registered 46 assists, and Iversen booked 32 digs and four serving aces.