The Yellow Jackets headed down south to Kentucky for two very important matches against defending HCAC champion, Transylvania, and one of the top programs in the country, Washington and Lee. Not only did DC prove they could play with the best competition in the region, they proved they could beat them. Defiance beat Transy 25-17, 25-22, 20-25, 25-16 and also defeated Washington and Lee 25-18, 25-23, 22-25, 25-16. With the wins DC moves to 16-5 and 3-0 in the HCAC.
In the first set it took a little bit to get going for the Yellow Jackets, dropping down early to a 4-0 deficit to Transy before getting it going. Once they did start though, DC stayed hot for the day. Keeping close from that four point deficit, it wasn't until 10-9 where DC tasted their first lead. In that span, Chelsea Ludeman (Napoleon, Ohio / Napoleon) served five straight points to give Defiance a 13-9 mid set lead. Transy was able to cut into the lead by 16-15 before an attacking error gave way for Alicia Kalik (South Lyon, Mich. / South Lyon) to serve four more points for the Yellow Jackets pushing the score to 21-15. Transylvania could not recover before the set was over, as the next four points scored by DC were made possible by Transy's errors, by way of service, blocking, and hitting errors leading to a 25-17 first set win for the Yellow Jackets.
Defiance carried that momentum into the second set, starting with a familiar Kalik to Ludeman kill. Transy would not lead in the entire set and only once tying it up at 8-8 before DC went on a 9-4 run and eventually winning the set 25-22 to take a commanding two set lead. Ludeman and Christa Seidenstricker (Plain City, Ohio / Jonathan Alder) led the way for the Yellow Jackets in the second set with four kills apiece, including a Seidenstricker kill for the 24th and a Ludeman set winning kill.
Transy started to play with a sense of urgency in the third set, only allowing DC to lead once in the set at 3-2. Ludeman and Bree Anderson (Huntertown, Ind. / Carroll) led the way in the third set with four kills apiece. Transy got the set win, however, with a 25- 20 victory.
Not wanting to go into a fifth set with the defending HCAC champions, DC decided to come out big in the fourth, beating Transy 25-16. The nine point victory was also the biggest spread of victory DC had on the day, doing it one other time later against Washington and Lee. Transy scored the very first point in the set and that was the last time they led as DC finished strong. Anderson led the way in the important fourth set with six kills in the set, including five of the last six points for the Yellow Jackets (four kills and one assisted block).
Kalik and Ludeman put up double-doubles in the set for DC. Kalik led the way with 39 assists and added ten digs. Ludeman 16 kills and 12 digs with a .300 attack percentage. Anderson added 15 kills with a .314 hitting percentage. Rebecca Kain (Orland, Ind. / Prairie Heights) continued to be a crucial piece in the Defiance defense, adding 20 digs for the match.
There was no time to celebrate after the big win for Defiance, as they had to turn right around and play the Generals of Washington and Lee. W&L came in with a 16-4 record and receiving national attention in getting a few votes this week for a top 25 spot. DC was able to beat the Generals with great all-around team play in which four players came away with double digits in kills and nobody on the team recording a negative hitting percentage.
DC came out unafraid, jumping all over Washington and Lee on way to an early 9-3 lead. The ninth point would prove to be a very memorable one for Alicia Kalik. With the assist to Anderson, Kalik became just the second player in Defiance College history to reach 2,500 assists. Kalik joins the 2,500 career assist club with Defiance College's all-time leader Megan Thigpen who finished her career with 2,667 career assists. The milestone didn't cause DC to let off the throttle though, never letting W&L within five points, eventually winning the set 25-18. Kalik ended the milestone game with 10 assists.
Defiance had to do a little battling back the second set, getting down early in the set 7-2. They then went on a five point run tying the score up 7-7. W&L then went on another little run, scoring four straight points before the teams started trading points until the very end. Down 22-20, Kalik decided this time to go on the defensive. DC put together a 4-1 run which featured two kills by Kalik before a big block by Ludeman and Kelsey Tietje (Deshler, Ohio / Patrick Henry) ended the set 25-23.
The third set this match once again proved to be the Achilles' heel for DC, as the once again did not sniff the lead. The kept it closer this time around however, tying it up at 8-8, 19-19, and 20-20 before eventually falling 25-22. Anderson led the set for DC with five kills.
The Yellow Jackets once again did a wonderful job of avoiding the fifth set and taking care of a powerful foe, winning the fourth set by the nine point spread once again. In the 25-16 win, DC was led once again by Anderson with four kills in the game. DC gave W&L little hope in the game. With the score 9-7 in Defiance College's favor, Kalik stepped up to serve for the Yellow Jackets. Kalik went on to serve eight straight points for DC including an ace, three Ludeman kills, a Tietje kill, and a Seidenstricker kill. The Yellow Jackets didn't let the Generals think they were ever back in the game, eventually winning 25-16.
In the second match, Kalik and Seidenstricker each recorded a double-double. Kalik ended her milestone match with 49 assists and 16 digs. Seidenstricker finished with 12 kills and ten digs while hitting .290. Ludeman finished with 12 kills and a .211 hitting percentage. Anderson led DC with 16 kills in the match and a .278 hitting percentage. Senior Lexy Pierce (Wauseon, Ohio / Wauseon) also got into double digits with 13 kills. Pierce led the team with a .393 hitting percentage and had the big kill for the final point in the match against the Generals. Kain once again led the defensive effort with 21 digs.
With the HCAC victory over Transy, Defiance stands alone as the only undefeated team in the conference. Up next they open up a three match home stand, which features their last three home matches of the regular season. It starts on Wednesday, October 16 against Manchester. First serve is at 7 pm.