One Up, One Down For Red Devils Saturday in Jacksonville

Photo courtesy of Thomas Smith.
Photo courtesy of Thomas Smith.

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – The Eureka College volleyball team secured its second St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory of the season in a 25-14, 25-21, 25-22 neutral-site sweep of Fontbonne, Saturday afternoon on the campus of MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill. The Red Devils went the distance in its early match versus Westminster before falling to the preseason league favorites in five games.

Heather Robinson (Peoria, Ill./Limestone H.S.) and Lexi Dooley (Sutter, Ill./Warsaw H.S.) shared the team lead with 11 kills in Eureka's afternoon sweep of the Griffins. The Red Devils committed only 11 attack errors as a team on their way to a .278 hitting percentage, their highest mark in a match since hitting .328 against Rockford on Sept. 1.

Sara Worrell (Jacksonville, Ill./Routt Catholic H.S.) distributed a team-best 17 assists in her hometown while Katlyn Arrenholz (Delavan, Ill./Delavan H.S.) tacked on 15.

Eureka didn't commit an attack error on 26 swings in the game-one win. The Red Devils scored seven of the match's first eight points and never trailed in the set. The final 11-point margin -- set by Dooley's kill -- equaled EC's largest lead of the game.

The Red Devils trailed by as many as eight points in game two before a late rally turned the tables. Eureka turned a six-point deficit into a 19-19 tie behind service from McKenna Cleer (Havana, Ill./Havana H.S.) and eventually swiped a 21-20 lead thanks to an FU attack error. The Red Devils ultimately scored the final four points of the set for the 25-21 triumph.

The Griffins led 11-8 in the final game before another big Eureka rally changed the momentum. A Runa Akagawa (Saitama, Japan/Ritsumeikan Keisho) service ace evened the match at 11-11, another FU attack error followed the Red Devils would lead the rest of the way. Eureka, which saw it's 24-16 lead shrink to just two points thanks to a late run of six straight Fontbonne points, nailed down match point on Robinson's kill.

Akagawa collected a career-high 16 kills in the opener against Westminster. She also compiled a personal-best 17 digs to log her third double-double in her last four outings. Dooley also earned a double-double in the five-set loss, producing 10 kills and 26 digs.

Arrenholz led EC with 20 assists, while Cleer had team-highs of 28 digs and three service aces. Caitlin Miller (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) had five total blocks.

Eureka, which has played its last six matches away from Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena and Convocation Center, will play two more road contests this week. The Red Devils will visit NAIA Lincoln Christian this Tuesday at 7 p.m.