CINCINNATI: The Lion's were amped to get back on the court Saturday. They would take on their first conference opponent in Franklin College. They would also match up with an NAIA opponent in Mount Vernon Nazerene University. Lion's entered the weekend at a fantastic record to this point of 11-5 and a lot of the players ranking amongst the top in the conference. Sam Buschur is 3rd in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in assists per set averaging 9.24 assists per set, 4th in the conference in total assists with 545, and 5th in service aces per set averaging 0.49 aces per set. Brooke Aselage has many great percentages and totals; she is top five in Points per set, total points, total kills, and kills per set.
Set 1 Lions would get off to seemingly good start but late in the first set would fall apart. Coach Spinney would call both of his timeouts in what looked like frustration. The Lions would drop set one 25-15.
Set 2 Lions wouldn't let up though they would scratch and claw their way through the second set in a very loud and intense game. At 20-22 Spinney would call a timeout after an error. Lions would score out of the time out off a very smart play by Sam Buschur. Then would drop 2 points and gain another after. Putting the score at 24-22 Franklin would error and put the game at 24-23 then Franklin would put the ball away to finish the set 25-23.
Set 3: The Mount would have to battle back in a 2-set hole if they wanted to get out on the right foot today. Lions keep the game tight through the first 10 points lions and Grizzlies would stay tied 5-5. Then off of kills From Sam and Brooke the Lions would take 7-5 lead. Trade serve receives then would score three more and finally franklin would side out putting the score at 11-7. Franklin would get an ace, but following that would get a massive kill by Makayla Chambers. Franklin would sideout immediately after. Lion's would get out then to an 18-11 lead off of a serving run by Senior Karlie Schell. The Lions would immediately sideout after Schell's run and Franklin would answer back (19-12). Lions would sideout at 21-15 of a kill by Aselage. The teams would trade some sideouts and missed serves to 23-18. Franklin would score two straight to get the score back to 23-20. MSJ would call a timeout to gather themselves and would score out of the time out and swap serve receive sideouts to close out the game. 25-21
Set 4: This set would prove if the Lions could keep the ball moving and prove to Franklin that they are the better team After the first 15 points would find themselves in a hole; 5-10. This in part a tough serving run by Franklin. Franklin would continue their tough serving to 6-13 and John Spinney would need to try and talk it over with his players. Lions would come back out and lose two more points and then score two themselves. Franklin would continue to put it on the Mount and go up 21-8. As the Mount would just look physically frustrated with their play. Lions would show a little fight when Makayla Chambers and Kyla Henderson would get a monster block. Franklin was coasting to the finish line but the mount had a little bit more fight in them but The Mounts errrors ould be their down fall.
MVNU and Franklin would battle in a 5 set match which saw Franklin win.
Set 1:Lions would start in Set 1 with struggling to gain a lead and would have the lead just twice for only a single point. One of those leads would look promising at 23-22. Then MVNU would score on a missed serve then would side out. Immediately after MVNU would score two straight points for being such a tight first set everyone was hoping for a close second set.
Set 2: This set was a set the lions would like to forget immediately the Cougars would jump out to a 12-1 lead. The Lions would bounce through some serve receives but also MVNU continued to score as well the lead would get to 18-6. Then MVNU would score 7 straight points to close the set out, all hope seemed to be lost. The Mount seemed to emulate an atmosphere through the gymthatwas one of shock and concern for the next set.
Set 3: The Lions came out in set three and would take a 3-1 lead and wouldn't lose the lead until 17-16. The Lions wouldn't be down for long as they went up 19-17 off of 2 back to back service aces by Karlie. The set would stay close as the true winner of the set wouldn't step out, until The Mount scored two straight taking a 24-22 advantage. Then would trade serve receives to finish the set Lion's took set 3 25-23 after the brutual loss in set 2. The atmosphere of positivity and hope was back in the gym.
Set 4: The Mount saw a 2-0 lead which looked hopeful. Then MVNU would score 5 in a row and the teams would battle. Only 10 points for both teams combined would be from errors setting and hitting. but the main story coming out of the 4th set was Brooke scoring 7 of the 17 points by The Mount. The set was tied at 15-15 and by then the women just looked exhauseted, the body language was just one of defeat. MVNU would pounce on this and go on a 10-2 run in the final 12 points. I spoke with John Spinney after the match and said something along the lines "That although today looked brutual these girls they are playing against are experienced and taller. We are outsized every match by at least 2 inches at each position."
THe Lion's will look to bounce back in conference play as they take on Hanover on Wednesday the 9th of October. Then the Lion's come home to take on Earlham on Saturday the 12th of October.