OLIVET, Mich. – The Olivet College volleyball team nearly won its biggest match in program history, as the Comets fell to nationally-ranked Hope College in a thrilling five-set match today at The Cutler Event Center in Olivet. The Comets won the first two sets before the Flying Dutch won the next two. Hope then won an epic 21-19 fifth set.
Final Score: Hope def. Olivet 21-25, 23-25, 25-15, 25-13, 21-19
Location: The Cutler Event Center; Olivet, Mich.
Records: Olivet 6-17 overall, 2-8 MIAA; Hope 12-6 overall, 8-2 MIAA
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Neither team led by more than two points early in the opening set. The Comets took the largest lead for either team at 19-15. The Flying Dutch came back to trim their deficit to a single point twice, 21-20 and 22-21. Olivet scored the last three points on a kill by sophomore Brittney Prince, a Hope attack error and a kill by sophomore Morgan Champion.
- The second set was similar to the first, as the teams combined for seven ties. Following a 13-13, Champion recorded back-to-back solo blocks to put the Comets ahead 15-13. The teams traded scoring runs to make the score 20-18 in favor of Olivet. Hope answered with three consecutive points to go ahead 21-20. After the Comets tied the set on a kill by Prince, the Flying Dutch got their own kill for a 22-21 lead. Behind the service of senior Courtney Cronkright, Olivet scored the final four points of the set.
- The third set was back-and-forth until Hope took the largest lead for either team at 15-12. The Comets scored two straight points to make the score 15-14. The Flying Dutch ended the set on a 10-1 run.
- In the fourth set, Hope turned a 5-4 deficit into a 10-5 lead and did not relinquish it for the rest of the set.
- The Flying Dutch raced out to a 5-2 lead in the fifth set. After Olivet evened the score at 5-5, Hope went on a 4-0 run to go up 9-5. The Flying Dutch maintained the four-point cushion at 14-10. The Comets fought back with four straight points to level the score at 14-14. Hope scored the next point but Olivet answered with two consecutive points to make the score 16-15. The Flying Dutch had to fight off match points to force ties at 16-16, 17-17 and 18-18. Hope took a 19-18 lead before a Cronkright kill tied the set one more time, 19-19. Two Dutch kills ended the set and match.
FOR THE COMETS
- For the match, Olivet totaled 54 kills and posted a .152 attack percentage.
- Champion and Cronkright each had 15 kills, with Cronkright hitting at a .278 clip.
- Prince slammed down 13 kills.
- Sophomore Madelyn Notenbaum recorded 51 set assists.
- Four players reached double digits in kills, led by sophomore Gabrielle Mundt's 16.
FOR THE FLYING DUTCH
- Katie Rietberg led all players with 20 kills and a .419 hitting percentage.
- Haley Muller was next with 15 kills.
- Sophie Hackett dished out 61 set assists.
- Gabbi Vachon registered a team-best 17 digs.
- Olivet plays only one match next week, on Wednesday night at Albion College. First serve inside Kresge Gymnasium is set for 6:30 p.m.