BELOIT, Wis. - The Rockford University volleyball team opened its season on Friday night with a pair of matches at the Buc Blast Tournament. Both matches were closer than the final score might indicate as Rockford opened with a tough 3-0 loss to Beloit and then wrapped up its day falling 3-1 to Wisconsin Lutheran College.
Rockford's first match of the season against the Buccaneers was very competitive in the opening set before Beloit took control. Unfortunately the Regents would fall in straight sets 25-23, 25-10, 25-10. Offensively Rockford was led by the duo of Emily Johannes (Eau Claire, Wis.) and Alex Storey (Dexter, Mich.). Johannes and Storey combined to record 15 of Rockford's 18 kills with Johannes tallying 9 and Storey recording 6. Sophomore setter Kayla Barthels (Fort Worth, Tex.) organized the Rockford attack recording a team-high 11 assists. Defensively the Regents had a pair of players crack double-figures in digs. Johannes again led the charge with a team-high 15 digs, while Jennifer Quintas (Rockford, Ill.) also had a nice match with 11 digs.
The Regents' second match of the night came against NACC opponent, Wisconsin Lutheran College. The Regents and Warriors battled back-and-forth nearly the entire night as Rockford played its best match of the young season. After the Warriors took the opening set 25-15, the Regents responded with an impressive 25-16 win in the second set to knot the match at 1-1. The third set seemed to sway the momentum the Warriors' way as Wisconsin Lutheran escaped with a 25-21 win to take a 2-1 advantage. WLC would then take the fourth set 25-11 for a 3-1 victory. Emily Johannes and Maddison Hiland (Bellevue, Iowa) led the Rockford attack with 7 and 6 kills respectively. Setter Kayla Barthels also turned in a solid all-around performance with 14 assists, 6 digs, 3 kills and 1 ace. Defensively the Regents had a trio of players record double-figures in digs. Just like in the first match, Johannes led the way with a team-high 16 digs, while Jennifer Quintas and Alex Storey tallied 13 and 12 digs respectively.
The RU women's volleyball team returns to the court on Saturday with two more matches at the Buc Blast Tournament. Rockford begins its day at 11 AM against UW-Superior and then plays a to be determined opponent at 1 PM.