NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – There were many reasons for a crowd of nearly 800 raucous fans inside Stauffer-Wolfe Arena to be happy Wednesday, Oct. 11.
A three-set sweep of rival Anderson University on the Stan Weller Court honoring Coaches Hoffman and Wolfe topped the list, stopping a four-match skid. The victory also moved the Black and Gold over .500 overall (9-8), as they increased their Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference mark to 2-4.
Beyond those facts was a historical note for junior setter Dakota Stanichuk (Athens, Mich.). With her 15 assists, she became just the third player in program history to go over the 2,000 mark. "She's been so important (to what we do)," Coach Bryndon Paulsen. "I thought tonight might have been the best volleyball she's played this season. She did so coming off a difficult weekend, and I'm glad to see her be able to bounce back like that.
"Overall, it was just a great atmosphere (to be part of)," he added. "It was great to see some many athletes out to support the team. It makes it fun to play when there is a crowd like that."
Manchester University's victory was also aided by junior outside hitter Haley Duncan (Albion, Ind.) who ripped 14 kills at the AU defense with glowing results, hitting at a .333 clip. Sophomore outside hitter Emily Bailey (Warsaw, Ind.) came up with a big night's effort, too, with three kills and no errors in five attempts for a stratospheric .600 attack percentage. Other substantial numbers for the Black and Gold came from sophomore defensive specialist Anna Marie Lawrie (Indianapolis, Ind.) (20 digs); sophomore middle hitter Riley Patterson (Walkerton, Ind.) (three service aces); and freshman setter Lauren Gandhi (Westfield, Ind.) (19 assists).
The Spartans begin a four-match road trip Saturday, Oct. 14, taking on Ohio University-Chillicothe and the University of Cincinnati-Clermont in a tri-match at UC-Clermont. Match times are 1 p.m. vs. OU-C and 3 p.m. against UC-C. Conference action picks back up with an essential match-up at Defiance College Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m.