- Inside Athletics
|Marygrove (6-4 (0-1))||11||20||25||25||11||2|
|Indiana Tech (2-10 (1-0))||25||25||20||22||15||3|
|Fort Wayne, Ind.|
|Marygrove||Indv. Leaders||Indiana Tech|
|#13 Amelia Velez - 15||Kills||#1 Richards,Shanice - 18|
|2 Players (#13,#17) - 2||Blocks||#1 Richards,Shanice - 4|
|#2 Kara Kempinski - 37||Digs||#9 St. Martin, Katelyn - 33|
|#2 Kara Kempinski - 2||Aces||2 Players (#5,#13) - 2|
|Marygrove||Team Statistics||Indiana Tech|
FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The Mustangs (6-4, 0-1) opened their second year of Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) play on the road against perennial conference power, Indiana Tech. Despite coming into the contest at 1-10, the host Warriors were the on-paper favorite due to their success over recent seasons. Last year, the Warriors finished 25-12 overall, including a 9-2 mark in conference play.
The Mustangs, hitting the court for the first time in WHAC action since going 0-11 last season, nearly pulled off an incredible comeback in a match that many in attendance would call an instant classic. The back-and-forth match would eventually be won by the Warriors, 3-2 (11-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-22, 11-15). The Warriors improved to 2-10 overall and 1-0 in the WHAC.
In the first set of the 2013 WHAC opener, the hosts were anything but kind as they quickly put away the Mustangs, 25-11. Second set action would see head coach Jamie Baker and the Mustangs battle back behind strong play from seniors Katharina Hall (Livonia, Mich./Henry Ford CC), Sarah Suppelsa (Livonia, Mich./Concordia-Ann Arbor), and Amelia Velez (Imlay City, Mich./Prairie View A&M). The great effort would come up just shy as the Warriors took set two, 25-20.
Facing elimination down 4-0 in the third set, the three seniors helped the Mustangs climb back to take a 14-10 midway through the set. Twin transfers Kara Kempinski and Nicole Kempinski (Livonia, Mich./Schoolcraft) laid it all on the line to help the seniors will the Mustangs back into the match. Together, the Mustangs held off a late third set rally by the Warriors to win, 25-20.
A deciding fifth game would be forced as the Mustangs went on to take an amazing fourth set, 25-22. Late in the fourth, Hall would provide the late-match spark the team needed after she nearly ran out of the gym to dig a ball – the dig would eventually be turned into a key kill by Suppelsa.
Kiara Cobbs (Detroit, Mich./King) came up huge in the fourth set win as she caught fire for four of her total eight kills. The junior middle also stymied a pair of Warrior attack attempts for two solo blocks in the match.
In the fifth set, the Mustangs would run out of gas late as the Warriors went on to take the deciding stanza, 15-11, in a nailbiter.
Freshmen defensive specialists Alyssa Adkins (Melvindale, Mich./Melvindale) and Natalie Toth Watkins (Grosse Ile, Mich./Grosse Ile) played valuable minutes to help a backline that was quarterbacked by libero, K. Kempinski. Freshmen right side Ashley Murphy (Southfield, Mich./Livonia Clarenceville) played in all five sets and came up with three kills on the evening.
Velez and Suppelsa paced the Mustang attack with 15 and 10 kills respectively. Cobbs followed with eight; Hall and K. Kempinski had six kills each.
K. Kempinski led the dig department with 37, while sister N. Kempinski put together a 40 assist night.
The Mustangs will play two matches Friday (Sept. 13) and three more Saturday as part of the 2013 Rochester College Invitational. Friday action begins at 7:30 p.m. from Van Hoosen Middle School in Rochester Hills, Mich.