Earlham rally stymies MU

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Junior right side hitter Haley Duncan (Albion, Mich.) and sophomore outside hitter Emma DeWitt (Brookston, Ind.) each wound up in kill double digits to lead Manchester University Saturday, Sept. 30.

Duncan finished with 15 as part of an afternoon in which she compiled a respectable .235 attack percentage and put up five total blocks. DeWitt added 10 to go with two service aces and eight digs to her final stat line.

Coach Bryndon Paulsen’s team had plenty to cheer about early, registering a strong .212 attack percentage on the first set and then coming back to be better than 150 in the second set in route to 25-21, 25-22 wins. From that point, a gritty Earlham College crew battled for points at each turn and limited Manchester University’s offense to .105 and .091 attack percentages to tie the match behind a pair of 25-20 victories in the third and fourth sets.

The fifth set proved to be a white knuckler. The Spartans trailed 12-9 before reeling off three in a row for a 12-12 tie with momentum seemingly on their side. However, Earlham responded with three in a row of their own for the 15-12 victory and 3-2 match triumph, ending a string of 63 consecutive conference match losses with their first-ever conference decision.

Manchester University (8-6, 1-2 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference) continues four in a row at home Saturday, Oct. 7. Hanover College is their guest at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena for a 1 p.m. start.

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