The Journal Gazette
Sunday, October 13, 2019 12:00 am

Warriors repeat as Liz Lykowski Memorial Tournament champions


For the second consecutive year, the Indiana Tech women’s volleyball team was crowned the champions of the Liz Lykowski Memorial Tournament, adding a pair of victories Saturday over Spring Arbor, 3-2 (25-21, 15-25, 24-26, 25-18, 15-10) and Trinity International, 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-21).

In the morning contest, the Warriors found themselves gradually pulling ahead in the opening set before an 8-1 run propelled them ahead 17-9, behind an offensive spark of six kills including three from Jordan Aylward. Tech would maintain command of the frame to eventually come out with a 25-21 decision.

Set two saw Spring Arbor go on an early 10-1 run en route to a 25-15 score to tie the contest at 1.

Tech jumped out 10-7 in the third set, but Spring Arbor tied it at 16. As the set wound down, a late 3-0 run from the hosts put the score at 24-24 in a thrilling third frame, but in the end, Spring Arbor won 26-24.

Down 2-1 heading into the fourth, the Warriors needed spark to stay alive. Their second 8-1 run of the contest granted them the momentum needed as surged ahead 19-12. They held that lead and keep their opponents out of reach to earn the 25-18 decision to force a fifth set.

In the decisive final set, Tech ran ahead 8-2 with much assistance from their offensive play. They gradually grew their lead and kept Spring Arbor at a comfortable distance to take the 15-10 advantage and pull out a 3-2 contest victory in the two-hour thriller.

Olivia Niekamp led all players with 18 kills with Aylward close behind with 16. Madison Park recorded 36 assists and Madeline MacDonald finished with a match-high 31 digs.

In the afternoon match, Tech took a 13-8 advantage over Trinity International and grew it to a 20-13 lead as the first set wore on. Back-back kills from Aylward and Havilyn Cumming to ended the set in a 25-20 decision for Tech.

In the second set, the Warriors found themselves down 9-6, but a 9-0 run got them back on top. Trinity International would have an answer for the Warriors run with a 6-0 streak of its own to take a 20-17 set. The next seven points would be both sides swapping shares of the lead before Tech utilized Trinity International errors to clinch a 25-23 victory.

The third set was a tight match before back-to back kills from Allison Cole sparked the Warriors on a 6-1 run that put them ahead 18-13. That lead lasted through the remainder of the third set and carried them to a 25-21 decision and their third sweep of the weekend.

MacDonald finished the contest with 17 digs, while Park concluded with a match-high 20 assists. Niekamp recorded 11 kills and Aylward followed with 10.

Niekamp’s big weekend earned her Tournament MVP honors while she was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Calista Helinski.

The Warriiors (18-6, 6-4 WHAC) will be back in action at 7 p.m. Wednesday as they travel to Sylvania, Ohio, for a WHAC match-up against Lourdes from the Russell J. Ebeid Recreation Center.

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