With a four-set victory over Spring Arbor University this past Friday, the Goshen College volleyball team has clinched a spot in the eight-team Crossroads League Tournament.The Leafs (13-17, 7-10) used a barrage of hits and blocks to eke out a narrow victory over the last place Cougars (5-22, 1-16 in CL) by scores of 21-25, 25-21, 25-23 and 25-19. The Cougars jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead in the first set and never looked back. The second set proved to be a game of runs as the Leafs started off on a hot 6-2 start before the Cougars closed the gap to 13-11. The Leafs then used an assortment of kills from Meghan Gerke, a junior, and Christy Swartzendruber, a junior, to go on a scoring spree to finish out the frame.
The third set would prove to be the toughest on the night for the Leafs with each team at a virtual deadlock the entire set. Late attacks from Whitney Peterson,
a sophomore, and Lexa Magnuson, a senior, helped close out the set late. Goshen then poured things on to register a quick 7-1 lead in the fourth set, and never took their foot off the pedal the rest of the night.
Hallie Vanitvelt, a sophomore, was the star of the contest for the Leafs, registering a season -high 16 kills – nearly doubling her previous season high. Lisa Rodriguez, a junior, put together a typical Rodriguez kind of night by tacking 30 more assists to her already top ten career assist numbers. Swartzendruber also paced the Leafs with 21 digs, while Kylie Giger, a senior, led all players with six blocks.
With the win, the Leafs can still finish anywhere from fifth to eighth in the CL standings depending on the outcome of their next contest and others throughout the CL. A win against Indiana Wesleyan this Wednesday night inside Gunden Gymnasium at 7 would guarantee the Leafs a fifth place finish. The match against Indiana Wesleyan finished after print deadline.