Yotes move on in NAIA Championships

Yotes move on in NAIA Championships
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Jessica Peacock recorded her fifth double-double in six matches, leading a potent College of Idaho attack, as the Lady Yotes closed out pool play at the NAIA Volleyball National Championships, presented by CNOS Foundation, with a 25-18, 25-22, 25-18 victory over the University of Saint Francis, inside the Tyson Events Center.

With the victory, the Yotes (24-7) secured themselves at worst a play-in game to the single-elimination bracket – but can move into the first-round of the finals if Texas-Brownsville takes one set from Westmont in their 3:15 p.m. match.

After five early ties in Set 1, the Coyotes broke a 10-10 stalemate with a five-point push, keyed by a kill and a stuff block from Liz Myers. The Saints (37-9) closed within 19-16 on a Kate McIlvanie kill, but Peacock had two kills in a set-ending 6-2 surge.

Set 2 was tight, featuring five lead changes – but four straight C of I kills, one each from Sierra Porter, Kylee Nawahine, Peacock, and Myers, gave the Yotes a 14-11 lead. A Peacock kill gave the No. 14 ranked team in the NAIA set point at 24-19, but USF got a kill from Ashley Richards and back-to-back Richards’ aces to force a timeout. The C of I went straight to Myers on the next attack, with the junior putting home the kill to end the period.

Set 3 was all Coyotes, getting two kills each from Myers and Sofia Anxo, to take a 9-3 lead. The margin would grow to 17-8 on a Peacock kill, and 24-12 after two-straight Nawahine aces. The Saints would fight off six match points, before freshman Kylie Porter spiked home a ball after a lengthy rally, to end the match.

Peacock had 11 kills and 10 digs in the victory, with Anxo adding 10 kills for the Yotes. Myers had nine kills and four blocks in the win, Sierra Porter had 37 assists, and Janel Porter had a match-high 22 digs. The Yotes hit at a .333 clip – their highest hitting percentage since Oct. 6 vs. Northwest Christian.

McIlvanie had nine kills to lead USF, with Ashley Thompson recording seven kills. Ashley Richards had 22 assists for the Saints, with Dana Wettergren recording 10 digs.