|Cornerstone (13-6, 6-1 WHAC)||25||25||15||20||1|
|Madonna (19-2, 7-0 WHAC)||27||21||25||25||3|
|#12 Heather Carlson - 13||Kills||#08 Nicole Oestrike - 21|
|#09 Kendra Zwart - 4||Blocks||#12 Amanda Hawkins - 6|
|2 Players (#05,#12) - 16||Digs||2 Players (#05,#06) - 14|
|#06 Maria Ma - 2||Aces||3 Players - 1|
LIVONIA, Mich. – Homecoming spirit shined as the 20th-ranked Madonna University volleyball team defeated No. 14 Cornerstone University at the MU Activities Center on Friday night behind Nicole Oestrike (SR/New Boston, Mich.)'s career night.
FINAL: No. 20 Madonna (18-2) 3, No. 14 Cornerstone (13-5) 1 (27-25, 21-25, 25-15, 25-20)
Madonna hit .275 while the Golden Eagles hit just .188 and that was the difference in a closely contested opening set which MU won, 27-25.
The match couldn't have started any better for the Blue and Gold in front of an electric crowd as MU jumped out to a 5-0 lead thanks in part to three CU errors as well as kills from Amanda Hawkins (SR/Livonia, Mich.) and Oestrike
Madonna led by as many as eight points, 15-6, but a 13-2 scoring run by the visitors put MU in a hole, 19-18.
The teams traded sideouts until Oestrike, who had her way with the Golden Eagles, delivered three straight kills to seal the win
Madonna struggled in the second set as unforced errors led to easy Cornerstone points, but the Crusaders fought back from a 20-13 deficit to lose by just four points, 25-21, and provide them with the momentum they needed to finish off the upset.
With a raucous crowd behind them, the Crusaders rolled to a set three win as they hit nearly .500 while Cornerstone couldn't hit better than seven percent.
Taylor Suurmeyer (JR/Northville, Mich.) broke a 5-5 tie with a kill from Lauren Korth (JR/Romeo, Mich.) and the Crusaders setter followed with an ace and MU never looked back as they led by as many as 10 points and looked prime for the upset of Cornerstone.
It was a crazy back and forth start to the final game as each team responded to the others point with one of their own and the match remained within two points either way until a CU service error broke a 14-14 tie.
Following the error, Suurmeyer and Oestrike teamed for a block assist which put MU up two and they never looked back as the scored 11 of the next 17 points to topple their second ranked team of the season.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Madonna hit .275 (63-19-160) for the match and the defense limited the Golden Eagles to a .181 (55-26-160) attack percentage. The Crusaders amassed 58 assists, three aces, 70 digs and nine blocks.
Oestrike finished the match with career-highs in kills (21), attempts (45) and attack percentage (.422) to go with a service ace, 13 digs and two block assists.
Karlie Kelly (SR/Romeo, Mich.) added 16 kills and 14 digs while Hawkins continued her pursuit of 1,000 career kills as she racked up 14 to go with six blocks (2 solo, 4 assist)
Korth finished the night with 53 assists while Kelly and Casey Looper (JR/Battle Creek, Mich.) paced the team with 14 digs each.
MILESTONES TO WATCH
Hawkins is 10 kills away from 1,000 for her career with 990
- "We knew we needed to come out and attack them tonight. Cornerstone is a really good team and we knew if we gave them to many freeballs we'd be in trouble. Our three seniors played really well and Nicole and Karlie are two of the best outside hitters in the country. We knew it would be a tough match and there would be some ups and downs, but I think being able to build momentum towards the end of the second set helped propel us to the match win." - Head Coach Jerry Abraham on the win
- "I thought that Casey Looper and Alyssa Facione (FR/Livonia, Mich.) were tremendous in the back row for us. Looper got to several balls in the back right and Aly has done everything we've asked from her." - Abraham on the teams defense
Madonna heads over to Grand Rapids to face off against Aquinas College, whom they've beaten the last 11 matches, on Friday, Oct. 6 with first serve slated for 7 p.m.
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