Photo: File photo
Drake went 1-2 last weekend while hosting the Sheraton West Des Moines Drake Invitational. Head coach Tony Sunga picked up his first career victory at the Knapp Center as the Bulldogs edged Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne (16-25, 25-20, 25-15, 22-25, 15-11) last Friday. Drake lost its next two matches last Saturday, falling 3-0 to Wyoming and 3-1 to Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The Bulldogs dropped games one and four against IPFW, but recovered to take the final set. Junior Whitney Westrum had a career night, notching a career high in kills (16) and hitting percentage (.361). Senior setter Caitlin Johnson recorded a double-double with 45 assists and 12 digs. Senior Michelle Reidy contributed 11 kills and three blocks.
“This is what makes the game fun,” Sunga said in a Drake athletics press release. “At that point (game five), it was a tossup. The fifth set goes to the team that gets out of the gate quickly and is able to sustain intensity. Tonight, that was us.”
On Saturday, Drake sputtered against Sunga’s former team, Wyoming. The Bulldogs were never close in three sets, faltering 17-25, 16-25 and 14-25. Westrum and junior Emily Heffernen had nine kills each.
“The match is done and we need to move on,” Sunga said in another release. “We need to be better at leaving behind what has happened – win or lose – and focusing on what’s ahead.”
The Bulldogs wrapped up the tournament with a 16-25, 16-25, 26-24 and 18-25 loss against UW-Milwaukee. Johnson had another double-double with 40 assists and 16 digs. Senior Mikayla Sims had 11 kills while Reidy added 10.
UW-Milwaukee took home the tournament crown after going 3-0 on the weekend.
“The teams that were here were very evenly matched,” Sunga said. “It came down to who was mentally tougher and who could sustain that toughness. If you executed this weekend, you won.”