CHICAGO, Ill. – The Dakota Wesleyan University volleyball team started the 2018 season at the Robert Morris University Eagle Invitational in Chicago, Ill., defeating Robert Morris University, William Penn University, Ave Maria University and Graceland University to begin the season 4-0.
In the first game of the season, the Tigers (4-0) took on the tournament host Robert Morris University and downed the Eagles in four sets, 25-18, 25-14, 21-25, 25-15. DWU got off to a quick start after taking a 6-2 lead in the opening set. The third set belonged to the Eagles as they took an early lead they did not let go of. However, The Tigers took control in the fourth set on their way to a season-opening victory.
Rebecca Frick (Yankton, S.D.) led the way with 11 kills and 11 digs, while Sydney Fritz (Winner, S.D.) and Madison Smith (Watertown, S.D.) recorded 10 kills apiece. Sara Herman (Reliance, S.D.) led the team with 16 digs, as Bridgett Knobbe (Norfolk, Neb.) finished with 40 assists.
In the second game of the weekend, DWU defeated William Penn University 23-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-22. After dropping the opening set, the Tigers evened the score after dominating the second set. The third set was evenly contested throughout. However, a kill by Fritz sparked a flurry of seven-straight points for the Tigers that pushed DWU onto victory.
Frick had a standout game after finishing with 25 kills and 22 digs, while Herman led the team with 25 digs. Fritz tied a career high with 12 kills, as Knobbe tallied 48 assists, nine digs and five kills.
The Tigers opened the second day against Ave Maria University out of Ave Maria, Fla. DWU proceeded to take the game from the Gyrenes in three-straight sets, 25-14, 25-20, 25-16. Junior Kimberly VanBockern (Arlington, S.D.) finished the game with eight kills, 2.5 blocks and a dig. Frick tallied 11 kills and seven digs and Herman notched 14 digs.
In the final game of the weekend, DWU defeated Graceland University 25-9, 26-24, 26-24. The second set was tightly contested throughout, with the Yellowjackets holding a 23-19 lead. The Tigers would not be denied as they scored five-straight points to take a 24-23 lead after a Herman ace. The Tigers would go on to take the second and third sets to finish 4-0 overall at the Robert Morris University Eagle Invitational.
Frick led the way for the Tigers as she tallied 17 kills and 14 digs, while VanBockern finished with two blocks and two kills. Smith recorded eight kills and two digs, and Knobbe notched 28 assists and five digs.
The Tigers return home to take on in-state rival Dakota State University at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.