Score: Evangel 3, Benedictine 0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-19)
Records: Evangel (8-1, 5-1), Benedictine (5-5, 3-5)
Location: Springfield, Mo. | Ashcroft Center
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Evangel volleyball team ran its Heart Conference win streak to four matches with a convincing performance in a straight-set victory (25-22, 25-19, 25-19) over Benedictine Friday evening at the Ashcroft Center.
Reigning Heart Attacker of the Week Tori Lowry turned in another big night, tallying her fourth-consecutive double-double with a game-high 12 kills, 13 digs and two service aces. Ciera Reyes also stepped up for EU with 11 kills, and Regan Ansley hit 0.375 with 10 kills.
The Crusader defense proved stingy once again, holding BC to an 0.115 attack efficiency for the match. EU hasn't allowed an opponent to hit better than 0.174 during its current win streak.
"What a great team effort tonight," EU head coach Mary Whitehead said. "Every hitter contributed and our defense was ruthless. Another great Heart win."
Evangel rallied from an early 9-5 deficit in the opening set, thanks in large part to a defense that limited the Ravens to an 0.096 attack percentage in the game. EU staged an 8-2 run to claim its first lead of the match, as Reyes recorded two of her nine kills during the spurt.
BC briefly responded to take a 15-14 lead, but the Crusaders took the next four points on back-to-back kills by Paiton Acord. Lowry delivered a pair of kills, including the game-winner after the Ravens had battled back to trim the EU lead to one point.
Benedictine won the first four points of the second set, as three Crusader miscues and a Murphy O'Malley service ace gave the visitors an early 4-0 cushion. But EU rallied to take five of the next six points, then used a 12-3 run to seize control of the game. The Crusaders received balanced contributions during the spurt, with Reyes recording four kills and Ansley logging three to go along with a pair of Lowry aces.
The Ravens would get no closer than within four points the rest of the way, with Ansley putting away her fourth and fifth kills of the game to help seal the set.
The clinching third-set win for Evangel followed a similar pattern, with the Crusaders using a big run to once again gain control of a back-and-forth affair. With the score knotted at 10-10, the first of three Lowry kills down the stretch handed EU the lead for good.
Benedictine was led by Aretha Victalino's eight kills and Marea Wortmann's 15 assists.
The Crusaders will host the only opponent to hand them a loss this season, MidAmerica Nazarene, in a 2 p.m. match Saturday (Oct. 17) at the Ashcroft Center.
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.