OLIVET, Mich. – Albion College never let Olivet College seize the momentum as it earned a four-set (25-22, 11-25, 25-17, 29-27) victory over its Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association rival.
"That's why we have five sets," Albion Coach Kristin Slamer de St. Aubin told the Britons after dropping the second set. "It was important to finish the fourth set because Olivet has Stefanie Lang, that one attacker that can always score. We didn't want that momentum shift to take place."
Rachel Spencer produced two kills and Olivet committed three errors as Albion won five of six points to extend its 19-18 lead to 24-19 in the first set. Olivet staved off set point three times, but Spencer spiked the final point to give Albion the early lead in the match.
Olivet hitting errors on four consecutive points and a Lauren Outwater service ace propelled Albion to an 11-10 lead in the third set. Another five-point run, including two kills by Stephanie Thurner and an ace by Kristin Yeager, extended the Albion lead to 17-12.
Albion was two points away from winning the match, leading 23-17 in the fourth set, when Olivet scored six in a row to forge a tie at 23. The Britons didn't let the set get away, and Jessica Konieczny blocked the final point of the night.
Albion had three student-athletes produce more than 10 kills for the second time this season. Outwater led the way with 15 kills, and she had a good defensive night with 19 digs. Thurner added 14 kills and four block assists. Spencer finished 11 kills and two block assists. Rachel Zawodny led the defense with 22 digs and four assists, and Ami Milligan dished out 41 assists, came up with 12 digs, and helped out with two block assists.
"Having three with double figures in kills is a testament to Ami's setting ability and the ability of our attackers to make kills when we're forced out of system," de St. Aubin said.
Olivet's Lang led all players with 26 kills. She hit .412 with just five errors in 51 attacks.
Albion is off until Oct. 31 when it hosts Trine for its final match of the season.