For the second time in as many matches Lourdes had to rally from a two-set deficit, and on Wednesday evening the victory over Michigan-Dearborn marked a school record-tying fourth consecutive victory as the Gray Wolves downed the Wolves 18-25, 19-25, 25-23, 28-26, 15-12 at UMD Fieldhouse in Dearborn, Mich.
Lourdes improved to 4-1 on the season in five-set matches, and has now won five of their last six contests overall. They Gray Wolves have pulled into a tie with Siena Heights for seventh place in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, just one game out of sixth place.
"It was great to get another conference win tonight," head coach Greg Reitz stated after the match. "This win helps us clinch a home match in the upcoming WHAC Tournament which is huge for us. Now we need to go out and pick up a few more wins to close out the season to help improve our seeding."
Ali Mass (Walbridge, Ohio/Tiffin Calvert H.S.) led the way for the Gray Wolves with 18 kills and added 10 digs for a double-double while Andrea Brown (Northwood, Ohio/Northwood H.S.) added 10 kills. Michi Jimenez (Vega Baja, P.R./Juan Quirindongo Morell H.S.) recorded 27 digs while Allegra Recknagel (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion H.S.) also registered a double-double with 49 assists and 15 digs.
Trailing two sets to none and tied at 21 in set three, the Gray Wolves took advantage of a pair of Michigan-Dearborn errors and two kills by Mass extended the match to a fourth set. Lourdes against had to battle back to force a fifth set. Trailing 18-15, five errors by the Wolves combined with kills from Mass and Brown put the Gray Wolves on top 22-20. UMD responded with four of the next five points to retake the lead 24-23, setting up match point, but a kill by Amelia Horton (Milan, Mich./Milan H.S.) extended the match. Lourdes trailed 25-24 and 26-25 as well before scoring the final three points of the set, the final coming on a kill by Shelby Schuster (Sylvania, Ohio/Southview H.S.) to force the decisive final set.
Set five was close early, with the teams trading points until reaching a 7-7 deadlock. Lourdes took advantage of three Wolves attack errors as part of a 4-0 run to take the lead for good, and back-to-back kills from Katie McKenty (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame H.S.) and Mass closed out the victory.
Tiffany Brufladt led Michigan Dearborn (15-16, 2-7 WHAC) with 18 kills and 15 digs while Ashley Parks added 10 kills. Brittany Yanos had a team-high 20 digs for the Wolves.
Lourdes (11-16, 4-5) will begin its final homestand of the year on Saturday afternoon, hosting Ohio State-Marion. First serve as the Gray Wolves look for their fifth consecutive victory is set for noon at Tam-o-Shanter.