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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, October 13, 2019 12:00 am

Warriors repeat as Liz Lykowski Memorial Tournament champions

JOURNAL GAZETTE

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.