Balanced attack highlights Spartans’ opener

KALAMAZOO, MICH. – Manchester University gave host Kalamazoo College a stern test in games one and three of its 2013 season opener as part of the Green Hornet Invitational Friday, Aug. 30.

However, the Hornets broke up a 23-23 tie late in game one for a 25-23 win. The decision sparked them to a quick 21-7 start in game two en route to a 25-11 victory. Trying to avert a sweep loss, Coach Kendra Marlowe's squad responded early in the third game, leading 5-0 due to the serving skills of sophomore middle hitter Morgan Pavelka (Noblesville, Ind.). Kalamazoo responded, overtaking the Black and Gold midway through, for a 25-19 win and a 3-0 match victory.

The Spartan offense was topped by four players with four kills each. Sophomore setter Mikayla Munn (Elkhart, Ind.) hit .222 with her four kills and also set up 14 assists. Pavelka also contributed four kills to go with four service aces. Junior right side hitter Mallory Kirkwood (Greenfield, Ind.) and senior outside hitter/defensive specialist Makenna Hamilton (Medaryville, Ind.) also added four kills each. Junior libero Morgan Yoder (Goshen, Ind.) led the back row defense with seven digs, while Munn added to a strong first day at the net with three blocks including one solo.

Manchester University resumes play at Kalamazoo's Anderson Center Saturday, Aug. 31. The Black and Gold faces North Park University of Illinois at 10 a.m. and North Central College of Illinois at 12 p.m.