William Woods volleyball split the first two games Saturday of the Labor Day Tournament being hosted at William Penn University.
The Owls lost to host William Penn in four sets (30-32, 10-25, 27-25, 18-25) and then beat Graceland in a five-set battle (20-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-17, 15-8).
The first set against William Penn saw each time winning by no more than two points at any given time. When William Penn had set point at 25-24, Reanna Dodge registered a kill to tie it and start the back-and-forth battle in extra points. The Owls (5-3) had set points at 27-26 and 28-27 after a Statesmen attack error and a Hannah Kuehl kill, but William Penn but edge William Woods out on a Dodge attack error.
William Penn were control for the entire second set after an 8-0 run to start it. The Statesmen would start the third set with a 9-3 run, but a 9-0 William Woods in the middle prevented it from being one-sided, giving the Owls a 14-12 lead at the time. The teams were neck-and-neck the rest of the frame, but William Penn errors and a Kuehl ace at the end secured the set for William Woods.
The Owls had a 9-5 start to the fourth set, but William Penn rattled off a 12-2 run and had control the rest of the match to win it. Kuehl led William Woods in kills with 9 and blocks with 6.
William Woods had a tough battle in the first set against Graceland before the Yellowjackets won the final four points to win the set. The Owls came within one point in set two at 17-16 after a Graceland attack error but were outscored 8-3 to lose that set. William Woods held the advantage in the third set after an initial 5-2 run and a 6-2 run secured the frame.
The Owls had a 10-6 lead to start the fourth set after kills from Phillips and Lanie Lowry and two aces by Alli Gueck. Two more aces, this time by Lauren Hiestand, helped William Woods build a 16-9 lead before going on a 7-1 run to stave off a Graceland comeback.
With the match tied, William Woods and Graceland started the final set close before a 4-0 Owls run, with kills by Kuehl and Riley Alton, gave them a 12-6 lead. William Woods wrapped up the set and match, with Kuehl leading the team again with 14 kills.
The Owls will play their final two games of the tournament today against Waldorf at 9 a.m. and Mount Mary at 2 p.m.