PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State volleyball team won four of the past five games going into Thursday’s matchup against Washburn, but the Ichabods ended the hot streak by handing the Gorillas a 3-1 loss inside John Lance Arena.
After losing the first two sets 25-16 and 25-23, Pitt State fought back from a nine-point deficit to take set three 26-24 to avoid the sweep, but Washburn ended any hope of a comeback by taking the final set 25-11.
“The disappointing part of this loss was that I don’t think we made them earn a lot of points,” PSU head coach Jen Gomez said. “I feel like we gave them a lot because of our errors, and that’s the frustrating part. It wasn’t that they were much better than us, we just gave them way too many points.There were times when we couldn’t pass, our serves weren’t very aggressive or we weren’t in the right spot on defense, but when we are on and doing the right things, we can play with anybody.”
A slow start for Pitt State saw the Ichabods take set one 25-16 set two 25-23.
The Gorillas appeared to be on the way to tying the match score at 1-1 with a 23-20 lead in the second set, but the Ichabods rallied for five consecutive points to earn the win.
PSU turned the tables in the following set, trailing 21-17 before going on to rally for a 26-24 win.
Pitt State avoided the second consecutive loss by scoring five consecutive points at the end on the strength of an ace from Camryn Blanton and a kill by Lauren Regier.
“I think in the second set they started to believe they could do it,” Gomez said. “We were right there, but we just fell off right at the end. When our team decides to turn it on and play, they’re fine. I think that comeback just shows a lot of guts. We stopped making multiple errors in a row and we got them out of system to get that win.”
Washburn regrouped during the break and outscored the Gorillas 6-2 to begin set four en route to coasting to a 14-point win.
Regier led the Gorillas in kills with 14, while her teammates Mia Bledsoe and Erika Ivkov each tallied 11 apiece.
Many of their kills came from Blanton’s 42 assists.
Paige Corcoran was the defensive anchor, collecting 22 digs throughout the contest.
Former Southeast Lancer Olivia Powell earned seven kills for the Ichabods in the win, while also contributing 10 digs, an assist and a block.
The Gorillas will close out the season with a matchup against Emporia at 7 p.m. on Friday.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.