It was an eventful weekend for a couple of Blue Jays, but Westminster volleyball came out of its four games at Rhodes College with a 1-3 record and a 2-4 for the season.
Day one saw Erica Schraeder surpass 1,000 career digs in the loss against Huntingdon (21-25, 25-17, 25-17, 15-25, 13-15), and Erika Wanyonyi set the school record for most kills in a match with 30 in the win against Austin (25-21, 25-18, 23-25, 23-25, 15-8) — the most by a Blue Jay since 28 by Brenna Seboldt in 1995. The Blue Jays would play another five-setter in a loss against Rhodes (19-25, 25-23, 25-22, 19-25, 5-15) and lose in four sets to Texas Lutheran (12-25, 18-25, 25-23, 19-25).
Westminster was in an early one-set hole to Huntingdon after losing the first set, despite having an 8-3 lead, thanks to a 5-0 Huntingdon run to tie it at 11 and some aces to take the lead for good. The Blue Jays would come alive in the second and third sets, with a 6-0 run in the second to take a 20-14 lead and in the third to take a 20-13 lead.
Huntingdon would take nine straight points to build a sizable 9-3 lead in the fourth set and Westminster couldn't make up ground after a Huntingdon 5-0 run to make it 20-11.
The fifth set was back-and-forth until the Blue Jays took a 10-9 lead on a Wanyonyi kill before Westminster errors fueled a 6-3 Huntingdon run to secure the match.
Schrader would record her 1,000 dig on her 12th of the match before finishing with 14. Wanyonyi led with 23 digs, and Haley Menke led with 16 kills.
Wanyonyi would lead in kills by a wide margin against Austin, starting with her seven kills to take the first set. The Blue Jays were down 10-4 early in the second before four Menke kills and six Wanyonyi kills gave Westminster a two-set lead.
Menke and Wanyonyi along with Emma Geier gave Westminster an early 9-4 third-set lead before Austin drew closer and eventually took a 16-15 lead behind a 5-0 run. The Blue Jays would be edged out by two points in the third and in the fourth, with Austin using an 8-1 run to rip a 23-18 lead away from Westminster.
A fifth set would be necessary as Westminster again built an early lead at 12-5, capped by Wanyonyi's 30th kill. There would be less room for a Austin comeback in the 15-point frame, and the Blue Jays would hand Austin its first loss.
Menke also had a big offense match with her 20 kills and her team-leading three service aces. Schrader would lead with 25 digs, giving her 1,027 at the end of day one, and Gretchen Durbala would lead with 49 assists.
Day two began with another five-setter against Rhodes as Westminster looked good early with an 11-7 lead after kills by Menke and Claire Whitehouse. The teams would exchange runs to snatch the lead, but Rhodes had the final 5-0 run to take the first set. The second set would see another seesaw battle with Westminster getting some edge after a Schraeder ace and Wanyonyi kill, making it 20-17, and then tying the match after a Whitehouse kill.
The Blue Jays were in trouble early in the third set, trailing 15-5, but a 7-0 Westminster run capped by three straight aces made it competitive once more. A 5-0 Blue Jays run gave Westminster its first lead of the set at 19-18 then five Menke kills and a Schraeder kill gave Westminster a 2-1 set lead.
Rhodes built a lead in the fourth set again but refused to relinquish it while taking advantage of Westminster errors. The fifth set began 11-3 in Rhodes' favor and also ended in its favor, thanks to more Blue Jay errors.
Wanyonyi led Westminster again with 18 kills and also led with four service aces.
The Blue Jays couldn't get anything going in the first set against Texas Lutheran, trailing 10-3 and only putting together a 5-0 run off of Bulldog errors. Texas Lutheran won 15 of the last 19 points for the convincing first-set win. Westminster had an early advantage at 7-4 after another Texas Lutheran error before the Bulldogs snatched the lead away again finishing the set with a 6-0 run.
Down by two sets, Westminster had a 9-5 lead in the third after a Durbala kill and then Texas Lutheran claimed the lead at 15-14 after a 9-4 run. The Blue Jays took a 21-17 lead after kills by Wanyonyi and Whitehouse before Texas Lutheran tied it again at 22. Menke's two kills and another by Geier gave the Blue Jays the set they needed to stay alive.
The fourth set was also close, with the score being tied at 8, before Texas Lutheran took control after its 8-0 run. The Bulldogs wuldn't allow a Westminster comeback and took the set and match.
Wanyonyi led with 12 kills, Schraeder led with 23 digs and Durbala had 30 assists.
Westminster will kick off its conference schedule at 7 p.m. Wednesday at perennial powerhouse Greenville.