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DETROIT — The Marygrove College volleyball team opened up Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) play at home Wednesday (Sept. 2) facing a familiar foe, the Lourdes University Gray Wolves, inside Detroit Jesuit High School. The visiting Gray Wolves spoiled the MustangsÂ conference and home opener, winning Wednesday’s WHAC tilt in sweeping fashion, 3-0, behind set scores of 25-11, 25-14 and 25-15.
The Gray Wolves remained undefeated (5-0) on the season after jumping out to a fast start in the Motor City, cruising to a straight sets victory behind strong play from sixth-year head coach Greg Reitz’s most talented class in program history. The Gray Wolves’ new additions were the difference in the match as junior transfer Stephanie Ruffing led all players with 13 kills and a .379 hitting percentage.
Ruffing â one of three former NCAA Division I talents on the Gray Wolves roster â helped the visitors slam down 43 kills in the three-set contest opposed to 12 errors for a .344 hitting percentage as a team. Four Gray Wolves posted eight or more kills on the night.
The Mustangs (1-5) battled tough over the course of the contest against the Gray Wolves, taking an 8-6 lead in the second set before Lourdes went on a 5-0 run to create space in the match.
Fourth-year head coach Jamie Baker and the Mustangs countered their undefeated opponent with a balanced attack as Hailey Brandes (Southgate, Mich./Anderson High School) and Ashley Murphy (Southfield, Mich./Clarenceville High School) paced the offensive effort with five kills each.
Baker was pleased with the effort despite knowing her team has plenty more potential to unlock throughout the season.
“We are still a bit shorthanded, but that is no excuse,” said Baker shortly after the match. “We have a talented team that will certainly work its way to victories this season. As a group, we need to remain focused â coaches included â on improving who we are as a team every day and we will achieve our goals. Lourdes has an outstanding team this season, a team I believe will contend for our conference title. Tonight’s match certainly shows how talented and deep the WHAC is all around.”
Senior middle/outside hitter Rachel Staudt (Novi, Mich./Lawrence Tech) recorded four kills in her home debut with the Mustangs, while fellow senior Alixandria Pappas (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Lakeview High School) followed with a pair of kills of her own.
Hayley Jury (Plymouth, Mich./Ladywood High School) tallied 16 assists on 20 Mustang kills and starting libero Erica Wilson (Warren, Mich./Macomb CC) anchored the defense with a team-high 10 digs.
Murphy and sophomore middle Paige Hughes (Belleville, Mich./Huron High School) were strong around the net for the Green and Gold, combining for four block assists in the conference opener.
The Mustangs have a week off before returning to WHAC action on the road Sept. 9 at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Opening serve is slated for 7 p.m. in Dearborn.
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Category: Women's Volleyball