Record: 11-19 Home: 4-6 Away: 3-7 Neutral: 4-6 Heart: 2-11
Nashali Cruz led William Penn in kills in both matches
Nashali Cruz led William Penn in kills in both matches
Volleyball - Sat, Sep. 30, 2017

Fayette, Mo.--The William Penn volleyball team nearly rallied for a huge league win and then used that momentum to sweep a non-conference foe as it competed in a triangular Saturday.

WPU (7-15, 2-8 Heart) opened the day with a 3-2 Heart of America Athletic Conference loss to Central Methodist (21-25, 15-25, 25-17, 26-24, 4-15), but bounced back for a 3-0 win over Stephens (25-22, 25-21, 25-18).

Central Methodist 3, WPU 2

The visitors trailed just 15-14 in the opening set, but permitted four of the next five points and fell behind 1-0.  The Statesmen never found their footing in the second set, but up against the proverbial wall, they pushed back to win the next two sets.

The navy and gold hit .304 in the third round and then rallied from down 12-7 in the fourth set to tie up the contest.  Unfortunately, the well ran dry in the fifth set as the Eagles (8-8, 5-3 Heart) cruised to the easy win.

William Penn, which was outhit .217-.190, was headed by Alicia Jaquez (Fr., Farmington, N.M., Biology) and Nashali Cruz (Fr., Bayamon, P.R., Biology) with 11 kills each.

Jordan Carter (Jr., Sigourney, Iowa, Elementary Education) just missed double figures with nine winners; the junior served two aces as well.  Claire Simmons (Sr., Williamsburg, Iowa, Psychology) also managed five kills in Saturday's first match.

Haley Smith (Jr., Adrian, Mich., Elementary Education) assisted on 23 points, while Ashley Miller (Jr., Kalona, Iowa, Exercise Science) finished with 31 digs.

WPU 3, Stephens 0

WPU quickly recharged its battery to full power for its battle against the Stars (1-13).  The squad went wire-to-wire in the first set and trailed just once in the second round for a 2-0 edge.

The Statesmen, who owned a .165-.038 hitting advantage, lost the first four points of the third set and remained behind at 12-10, but took the edge for good with five in a row to wrap up the victory.

Cruz again had the team high in kills, this time with nine (.500 hitting clip), while Simmons was next with eight.  Nesreen Iskandrani (So., Lawrence, Kan., History/Government), with six winners, and Carter, with five, were also productive on the offensive end.

Smith concluded the win with 16 assists and Taniah Ayap (Fr., Hilo, Hawaii, Exercise Science) had 14 in the two-setter formation.  Miller recorded 24 digs, while the defense tallied 10 total blocks; Iskandrandi topped the crew with one solo block and four assists.

Next Up: William Penn returns to Oskaloosa next Tuesday to host Peru State in Heart action at 7 p.m.