STORY BY ASHLEY BEALL
The Drake volleyball team bounced back after a loss to North Dakota last week to sweep the Akron Invitational this weekend and win their second tournament of the season.
Drake kicked off the tournament in Akron, Ohio with their first game against the Austin Peay Governors.
The Bulldogs came out hot, taking an early lead and forcing the Governors to call both of their timeouts in the first set. Drake continued its dominance with an eight-point streak to win the set, 25-13.
Drake did not let up in the second set as they continued its dominance with a 25-11 victory and a .480 hitting percentage with 13 kills. The Governors came alive in the third set, though, and won 25-15. Their run was short-lived, however, as Drake came back to take the fourth set.
Drake looked their strongest in the next match against Bryant University, sweeping them in straight sets, 26-24, 25-17 and 25-19.
Freshman Kyla Inderski continued to showcase her talent with her second double-digit kill performance, registering 12 in the match.
In the second day of the tournament, Drake beat Akron, 3-1, and Binghamton, 3-1, to secure the tournament title.
“I am really happy for our team,” head coach Darrin McBroom said in a Drake athletics press release. “It is exciting to have this success and continue to build confidence with these wins. Overall, we didn’t play great in the two matches, but we found a way to get a pair of victories.”
The Bulldogs found themselves in a back-and-forth battle in their first game of the second day against Akron. However, the Bulldogs pulled out a first set victory, 25-20. The Zips rallied back in the second set, causing the Bulldogs to use their first timeout, and eventually went on to win the second set, 25-15.
After winning the third and fourth sets, the Bulldogs set up a meeting with Binghamton.
Drake dominated the first set with zero errors, 14 kills and a hitting percentage of .667. The fourth set proved to be the most difficult for both teams as they went back and forth with the lead and registered 18 score ties. The Bulldogs secured the win with a kill by junior Katie Dulek and a block assist by Inderski and sophomore Capris Quaites, winning 27-25.
The momentum carried over into the fifth and final set as the Bulldogs won 25-21.
“Both Akron and Binghamton gave us tough games, especially Binghamton after we took the opening set,” McBroom said. “After that, we weren’t able to put them away early and they battled all the way to the end.”
Inderski was named the tournament’s most valuable player, and, for the second time in a row, made the all-tournament team.
Next up for the Bulldogs is a trip to the University of Tennessee- Martin to play in the Skyhawk Invitational.
Their first game scheduled for Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. against host team, Tennessee- Martin.