ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Lourdes University opened the 2012 women's volleyball season with two victories on Friday afternoon on the opening day of the Concordia Kick-off Tournament held at the Cardinal Fieldhouse in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Gray Wolves swept Rochester (Mich.) 25-22, 26-24, 25-18 in the opening match of the tournament before downing Lawrence Tech 25-20, 25-15, 31-33, 25-17 to close day one action.
"It is always good to start the season with two wins," head coach Greg Reitz stated after the close of play. "Now we know what we need to work on and in the process got some of those first match jitters out of the way."
In the opening match against the Warriors, Lourdes had to rally to win the opening set. Lourdes trailed 21-18 before scoring seven of the final eight points of the match to earn the first set victory. Lolo Hidalgo (El Paso, Texas/Canutillo H.S.) had back-to-back service aces to tie the match at 21 and Michi Jimenez (Vega Baja, P.R./Juan Quirindongo Morell H.S.) closed the match with another ace to give the Gray Wolves the win.
Lourdes raced out to an early 12-4 lead in set two, only to see Rochester battle back and tied the match at 24. Back-to-back attack errors by the Warriors allowed the Gray Wolves to secure the second set.
Trailing 11-9 in set three, Allegra Recknagel (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion H.S.) served five consecutive points, including a pair of aces, to put Lourdes on top for good. The Gray Wolves scored the final four points of the match to earn a season-opening victory of the third consecutive season.
Katie McKenty (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame H.S.) led Lourdes with 11 kills in the match while Jimenez had three of the team's 13 service aces. Hidalgo had a team-high eight digs for the Gray Wolves.
"Michi and Katie, our true freshmen, played well in their first collegiate matches," added Reitz.
Keri Teschler led Rochester (0-1) with six kills while Emily Rajter had nine digs.
In match two of the afternoon, Ali Mass (Walbridge, Ohio/Tiffin Calvert H.S.) served seven straight points and the Gray Wolves took advantage of several attacking errors by Lawrence Tech to race out to a 10-1 lead. The Blue Devils were not able to get closer than five points the entire opening set.
The Gray Wolves had their best hitting set of the afternoon in set two, attacking at a .269 clip, and scored 12 of the final 17 points to take a 2-0 advantage in the match. Trailing 24-21 in set three, Lourdes battled back, taking a 25-24 lead, but the two sides were unable to put each other away until Lawrence Tech finally won the long battle 33-31.
Lourdes responded in set four with a 7-2 run midway through the set to earn the victory.
McKenty against led the Gray Wolves with 12 kills while Jimenez tallied 17 digs. McKenty and Recknagel had five and four aces respectively as Lourdes registered nine service aces in the match. The Gray Wolves held the Blue Devils to a .000 hitting percentage in the match as well.
Kelsey Haener led Lawrence Tech (0-1) with 11 kills while Darby Johnson had 17 digs.
"We will need to raise our level of play to be successful tomorrow," Reitz concluded. "We're going to face two tough opponents."
Lourdes (2-0) will close tournament play on Saturday with a pair of matches. The Gray Wolves will face Mount Vernon Nazarene at 11 a.m. before facing a team from Pool A in a playoff crossover match at either 1 or 3 p.m.
Match Notes: The Gray Wolves are now 3-1 all-time against Rochester and 4-0 all-time against Lawrence Tech … juniors Andrea Brown (Northwood, Ohio/Northwood H.S.) and Recknegal, sophomore Shauna Miller (Austin, Texas/Wimberly H.S.), and freshmen McKenty and Jimenez made their Lourdes debuts in the opener against Rochester … junior Alyssa Pelish (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic H.S.) and freshman Shayna Lindley (Toledo, Ohio/Rossford H.S.) made their team debuts in the Lawrence Tech contest … the match against Lawrence Tech was a non-conference contest despite the Blue Devils also being members of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.