Council Bluffs, IA – The Lady Blazers fell to #2 Iowa Western, and then a good Indian Hills club in the semi-finals to bring their 2017 campaign to an end in the NJCAA District J Playoffs this weekend.
In game one of the weekend, Vincennes University squared off with the #2 Reivers of Iowa Western. The Lady Blazers got off to a slippery start, dropping the 1st set 8-to-25.
VU would rebound with solid play in both the 2nd & 3rd sets, but fell behind too much early, and fell to eventual NJCAA National Tournament qualifier Iowa Western in 3 sets: 8-25, 17-25, 18-25.
Sophomore Gabrielle Medrado led the Trailblazers in assists with 14, recorded 2 aces, and also chipped in 6 kills. Fellow sophomores Genesis Milisde & Cali Topolski also had solid nights registering 8 kills for Milisde, and 8 digs for Cali Topolski. Freshman Allison Ruddick tallied 8 digs for the game, while Yasmene Leath & Baylee Lippincott each anchored the block column with 2 a-piece.
However, the NJCAA District J Playoffs are a double elimination tournament, so the Lady Blazers would look to rebound against a solid Marshalltown team.
The Blazers came out strong, and put down a very accomplished Marshalltown team in straight sets: 25-19, 25-21, 25-16.
Gabrielle Medrado narrowly missed recording her 15th career triple-double in a Vincennes uniform, but still notched impressive numbers of: 8 kills, 13 set assists, 15 digs, and 4 blocks. Sophomore Hannah Bullock recorded 25 digs, and fellow sophomore Abby Bigler rounded-out the digs column for the Trailblazers with 10. Cali Topolski again led the team in set assists with 14, while Genesis Milisde, Brooke Lasher and Yasmene Leath racked-up 11 blocks, 6 blocks, and 6 blocks respectively.
With the win, Vincennes University advanced to the Semi-final match where they faced a very good Indian Hills squad. The Blazers battled hard, but some key injuries limited the team, and they would eventually fall to Indian Hills: 10-25, 25-27, 22-25.
The team again received a valiant effort from their sophomores as Genesis Milisde recorded 11 kills, Gabrielle Medrado registered 7 kills, 17 set assists, 2 aces, and 4 blocks, Hannah Bullock tallied 19 digs and 2 aces, and Cali Topolski chipped in 9 digs.
Coach Sien said after the match, “We experienced another key injury Friday night, making us 2 players down. We only played 12 matches this season with our projected line-up, and despite that, still recorded 30 wins for the season. That is the first time since 2012.” Coach Sien continued by saying, “This group of sophomores is one of the finest groups of individuals I have ever had the honor of working with. The University could not have had a better set of representatives in the initial years of Division I play. They have set the standard of excellence and tenacity for all future teams at Vincennes University to see and follow. They recorded nearly 60 wins over their 2 season at Vincennes, and being nationally ranked in the first 2-years of DI competition is unprecedented.”