Lourdes used a strong service game and 11 aces to pick up its first Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference victory of the season on Wednesday night, defeating Marygrove 25-23, 25-18, 25-18 at Tam-o-Shanter.
The 11 aces were the second most registered by the Gray Wolves this season, and helped Lourdes improve to 8-0 all-time against the Mustangs. Alyssa Pelish (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic H.S.) led the way for the hosts with three while Andrea Brown (Northwood, Ohio/Northwood H.S.) and Katie Bartlett (Toledo, Ohio/Northview H.S.) each tallied two each.
"We served very well today at a level of toughness that we needed to," head coach Greg Reitz stated. "We did a good job of hitting our spots."
Allegra Recknagel (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion H.S.) registered a double-double with 20 assists and 12 digs coming off of the bench while Michi Jimenez (Vega Baja, P.R./Juan Quirindongo Morell H.S.) led the way with 13 digs.
"We had some players step up tonight," Reitz added. "Allegra did a nice job of setting and connected well with our middles which proved to be effective against this team. Alyssa passed extremely well and Michi played the libero position like it is supposed to be played."
Lourdes appeared to be in control of the opening set early, racing out to a quick lead. Five straight points game the Gray Wolves a 7-2 advantage, and the lead grew to seven 17-10. Marygrove fought back though, scoring 11 of the next 14 points to take a 21-20 lead. A kill by Ali Mass (Walbridge, Ohio/Tiffin Calvert H.S.) tied the set at 22 and Lourdes took advantage of a pair of errors by the Mustangs down the stretch to strike first with an opening set victory.
Marygrove held an 11-10 advantage in set two before four straight points by the Gray Wolves put the hosts in front for good. Holding on to an 18-16 lead, Pelish served up four straight points as part of a 5-0 run to break the set open and give Lourdes the win.
A pair of quick aces by Bartlett early in set three gave Lourdes a lead in which they would not relinquish on the way to closing out the sweep. The advantage grew to 17-10, allowing the Gray Wolves to trade side outs most of the remaining set to secure their first conference win of the season and just the second in program history.
Shelby Schuster (Sylvania, Ohio/Southview H.S.) led the way for Lourdes with nine kills, but the Gray Wolves hit just .085 for the match as a team.
"Our hitting wasn't great tonight but our ball control along with our serve and pass is what won us the match," Reitz concluded.
Kiara Cobbs led Marygrove (9-12, 0-5 WHAC) with eight kills while Elizabeth Lerczak and Katharina Hall each had 13 digs.
Lourdes (8-16, 1-5) will look to make it back-to-back WHAC victories on Friday evening as the Gray Wolves travel to Southfield, Mich. to face Lawrence Tech. First serve is set for 7 p.m. at Ridler Fieldhouse.