Score: Evangel 3, Benedictine 2 (25-21, 22-25, 25-27, 25-20, 15-10)
Records: Evangel (7-1, 4-1), Benedictine (4-4, 2-4)
Location: Atchison, Kan. | Ralph Nolan Gymnasium
ATCHISON, Kan. – The Evangel volleyball team completed a perfect 3-0 week with a come-from-behind five-set victory (25-21, 22-25, 25-27, 25-20, 15-10) over Benedictine Saturday evening at the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium.
Pushed to a deciding fifth set for just the second time in eight contests this season, Evangel responded in a big way to claim a nip-and-tuck battle in the fifth. After trading blows with the Ravens to take an 9-8 lead, Bridget Petersen put away kills on two of the next three points. The Crusaders then closed out the victory by winning the final four points to improve to 2-0 in five-set matches this season.
EU also bounced back from a 14-7 deficit in the fourth set, as Regan Ansley delivered two kills and Eryn Russell served a pair of aces as part of a 10-0 surge that gave the Crusaders a 23-18 advantage.
The always-stingy Evangel defense combined to limit Benedictine to a 0.102 attack efficiency over the final two sets.
Tori Lowry posted her second-straight double-double with 18 kills and 17 digs to lead the Crusaders (7-1, 4-1), while Petersen hit 0.520 (16 kills, 6 blocks) and Russell recorded 30 digs for EU.
The Crusaders won an opening set for the seventh time in eight matches this season with their 25-21 win in the first game, as Evangel took control with a 4-0 run that was fueled by a pair of Jorden Stacey aces. BC pulled to within 20-19, but Petersen put away two points and three Ravens errors handed EU the set.
Benedictine built a 20-13 advantage in the second set before the Crusaders reeled off six straight winners. The Ravens won the ensuing two points, then claimed three of the next five to seal the 25-22 decision.
Despite posting its best hitting percentage (0.314) and taking a five-point lead late in the third, Evangel found itself on the short end of another close finish to drop a second-straight game. After a Petersen kill handed the Crusaders a 24-22 edge and two set points, the Ravens roared back once again to take five of six points for the 27-25 win.
Benedictine was led by Joslyn Lewis's 15 kills and 0.519 attack efficiency and Marea Wortmann's 41 assists.
Evangel returns to the Ashcroft Center Tuesday (Oct. 13) for the first of three home conference matches next week. The Crusaders will host Park in a 7 p.m. contest to kick off the week, followed by a Friday match with Benedictine (7 p.m.) and a Saturday tilt with MidAmerica Nazarene (2 p.m.).
Fans can now follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EUAthletics, Twitter (@EUAthletics), or online at EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates by downloading the new Evangel Crusaders Gameday App through Google Play.