Jennies go 4-0 at Peggy Martin Challenge

Written by Muleskinner Staff


(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — Jennie’s volleyball went 4-0 in the Peggy Martin Challenge, winning all of their games in just three sets on their home court.

The Jens opened the challenge Friday, Sept. 16, by defeating Henderson State, setting a season-high of 10 blocks along the way. Junior outside hitter Molly Lawrence had seven of the 10.

In the second match, the Jennies easily defeated Arkansas Tech with sophomore libero Kylie Hohlen earning 12 kills and senior setter Kourtney Thompson getting her third double-double of the season with 32 assists and 12 digs. The Jens had more trouble with Southern Arkansas in their third match, but pulled it out after kills from Thompson, middle hitter Mackenzie Harding and outside hitter Rylee Neigenfind in the third set, winning 25-18.

“All the teams here want to win,” said Jennies head coach Flip Piontek. “All the four teams we played here this weekend played really, really hard.”

Piontek said the fourth team they faced, the Newman Jets, fought back the most out of the teams during the weekend.

“You had to beat that team rather than let them lose to you,” Piontek said.

During the first set, the Jets got as close as two points, but the Jennies kept the lead and took it 25-18.

The second set was a battle with neither team gaining more than a one-point lead, tying up at 9-9. The Jennies went on an 11-3 run that included three kills from senior outside hitter Cheyanne Lyons. The Jets were unable to fight back and Lyons ended the set with two kills, winning 25-18.

The Jets continued to fight in the last set and gained a one-point lead 10-9, but the Jens took back the lead from a Jets service error and continued to take the last 13 points out of the 18. The weekend ended with a service ace from freshman Abby Skrastins and the Jennies won the set 25-16.

Lyons had a career-high 20 kills against Newman while averaging a hitting percentage of .481 for the weekend on 108 attempts with only five errors. Lyons is ranked third in the MIAA, averaging 3.71 kills per set and was named MIAA hitter of the week.

Not only were the Jennies battling four games in two days, they were also missing key middles who played previous weekends, junior Casey Hohlen and senior Maddie Jones, due to injury. With the two injuries, Piontek said he had to move players around to figure out the perfect rotation. The Jennies overcame the challenges.

“It was cool, the depth we had, and how some people had to be put into positions they weren’t used to playing and we still came out on top,” Lyons said.

During the week leading up to the Peggy Martin Challenge, Piontek said he spent practices determining whom to put in for them. He decided to try Lawrence, who hadn’t played much middle since high school.

“She worked so hard that having that option of putting her in as a middle and be able to spread out your offense a little bit around other players was really, really good,” Piontek said.

Piontek said the movement of players during the tournament helped him approach the Jens’ upcoming match against undefeated Central Oklahoma.

“Everything that we did this weekend really helped me in trying to decide what players to put on what position when we’re playing Central Oklahoma,” Piontek said. “Central Oklahoma will play just as good defense as those (Newman) guys and will have more offense.”

The Jennies start conference play at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, against Central Oklahoma in the Multipurpose Building.