(INDIANAPOLIS) – The first day of the Midwest Region Volleyball Crossover was a great one for Walsh as it capped the day with its biggest win since joining the NCAA. Despite opening the day with a 3-0 loss to No. 19 Lewis (16-5), the Cavaliers (13-9) rebounded with a 3-1 win over No. 10 Rockhurst (21-3).
The victory against the Hawks serves as both the highest-ranked opponent and first ranked opponent the Cavaliers have defeated in the NCAA era. Walsh is the No. 4 seed from the G-MAC in this tournament. Rockhurst entered as the No. 2 seed from the GLVC. Fellow GLVC member Lewis is the No. 6 seed.
It didn't appear that would be the case after the first set as Walsh found itself on the bottom end of a 25-12 score in the first set, but the Cavs were able to regroup and score consecutive wins of 25-21, 26-24, and 25-22 to pull off the upset.
"I'm very proud of the resilience and passion that the team showed down the stretch of the match," said Head Coach Kassie Kadera "It was a great team win where every position came through and did their job, and didn't back down when the pressure was on. We didn't let set one define us which I was extremely happy to see, but instead elevated our level of play while remaining steady and focused."
Rockhurst actually served for game point in the third set, but Hallie Schroeder was able to lay down a kill to tie the set back up at 24-24. Lauren Loucks followed with another kill before an attack error on Rockhurst gave the Maroon and Gold the win in the third set thriller.
The fourth set also featured a late-game rally for the win. Down 22-18, the Cavs took advantage of multiple Hawk errors to go with kills by Olivia Zanolli and Loucks for a 7-0 run to stun Rockhurst.
Loucks dominated with 20 kills in the match. Paola Ferrario backed her up with 13 as the only other Cavalier in double-digits. Zanolli set up the offense with 48 assists.
The defense was superb with four players in double-figures for digs. Amanda Adoranti led the group with 20, Ferrario followed with 17, and Erica Schiets and Samantha Wentz both tallied 11. Amber King was also a force on the front line with four blocks in the nightcap.
The opening match against the Flyers saw Walsh go down in straight sets by scores of 25-19, 25-23, and 25-22. Loucks scored 10 kills, Zanolli totaled 26 assists, and Adoranti picked up 19 digs as the statistical leaders for Walsh.
Walsh will conclude the tournament with the No. 4 seed from the GLIAC Saginaw Valley State tomorrow. That match is slated for 1 p.m.