Volleyball Drops MIAA Opener 3-1 at No. 7 Hope

Sophomore Dakota Pelach
Sophomore Dakota Pelach

Holland, Mich. - The Alma College women's volleyball team could not topple No. 7 nationally ranked Hope College on Wednesday evening, falling to the Flying Dutch 3-1 (16-25, 25-23, 11-25, 20-25) to open play in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Dakota Pelach (Gaylord, Mich./Gaylord) led the Scots (4-2, 0-1 MIAA) in kills with 11 while Maressa Miller (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc) paced them in assists with 16.

After dropping the first set, the Scots had as much as a four point lead in the second set and were up 19-16 before Hope (5-0, 1-0 MIAA) reeled off three straight points to tie the set at 19 and force an Alma timeout. The Scots came out of the break with a 4-1 run, including two kills by Pelach from Miller, which caused Hope to take a timeout. The Flying Dutch then went on a 3-1 run to tie the set again at 23. Following another timeout, Sasha Laykova (Ternopil, Ukraine/Forest Hills Northern) had a kill and Katie Bush (Lowell, Mich./Lowell) posted a block to take the second set 25-23.

Alma fell behind 10-4 in the third set and eventually dropped it 25-11. The Scots maintained a tight fourth set early at 8-8, but fell behind after a 6-0 run. Down by as much as eight, they capitalized on a big rally point with a block by Pelach followed by a kill on the next point to make it 17-21. Hope then scored three of the next four points including scoring off a long rally and forcing an Alma timeout. Later, facing game point, the Scots scored twice to make it 24-20 but could not force a fifth set and fell 25-20.

The Scots next match is their home opener against Olivet College on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Art Smith Arena.

Quotes

Head Coach Alex Leja

"We played an inconsistent game against an efficient team. We started off rigid with jitters, but I was very proud of the way the girls responded in set two, where they relaxed and found their confidence. We served with a purpose, moved the ball around offensively and scored timely points."

"Overall we are making strides in the right direction. The girls continue to be students of the game, constantly growing and raising our volleyball IQ each day in game and practice."

"We are already looking ahead and moving forward with new lessons learned. We are excited to continue with conference play in our home gym on Friday, and we are hungry for our first win!"

Contact: Zach Russo, Assistant Sports Information Director, (989) 463-7436