WIU Volleyball Wins Regular-Season Finale at Home

MACOMB, Ill. – Appearing in Western Hall for one final time this fall, Western Illinois volleyball (5-24, 4-14) finished the regular season out on a positive note by defeating St. Thomas (3-25, 2-16) on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 20).

The win completed a season sweep for the Leathernecks over the Tommies.

Additionally, two Western seniors were honored before the match — Erika Moore and Peyton Bowman. Fifth-year outside hitter Emma Norris also played her final match as a Leatherneck, as the North Liberty, Iowa native held her ‘Senior Day’ this past spring campaign.

“That was a good one,” WIU head volleyball coach Ben Staupe stated. “It is always great when you can send off your seniors on a win like that. We are all incredibly proud and appreciative of Emma, Erika, and Peyton. They have contributed to this program in numerous ways and led our young players all season long.”

After the first two set wins were traded, Western maintained a steady control in the third, led by Brittany Wulf’s four kills during the period. After Bowman’s kill put the finish on a 25-16 set decision, the Leathernecks found themselves up 4-0 in the fourth’s early stage. St. Thomas battled back to even the score at 9-9, but Bowman helped WIU leap out again, 17-13. Next, a few possessions went back before a couple of errors hurt the Tommies, as the squad trailed 23-20. Another St. Thomas mistake, followed by a teamed-up block between Kennedy Davis and Hailey Pollock, ended WIU’s afternoon in a victory.

Wulf’s 18 kills were a team-high, while Bowman and Kennedy Davis chipped in nine apiece. Bowman also tallied an eye-popping ten blocks.

Maggie Craker posted 36 assists and 16 digs, a stat line that marked the first-year’s seventh double-double in the last eight matches. Karli Wenzel led the way defensively with 26 digs, and Gabby DePersio added 12 of her own. Pollock impressed with four assisted blocks — a new single-match, career-high.

Moore finished with nine digs while Norris handed out four kills and seven digs.

Western finishes the 2021 fall season with a 5-24 overall record.

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