GREEN BAY, Wis. - The Drake University volleyball team dropped its final two games at the Green Bay/Country Inn & Suites Tournament, Saturday, falling 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-19) to Auburn and dropping a close 3-1 decision to Central Michigan (14-25, 25-19, 21-25, 28-30). The Bulldogs battled in the fourth set of the match against the Chippewas, nearly forcing a fifth and decisive set before falling, 30-28. The losses dropped their record to 0-3 on the season but eight freshman or sophomores saw action today for the young Drake team.
"We are pleased with our progress from the Green Bay match last night to the Auburn match this morning to the close match against Central Michigan," head coach Tony Sunga said. "We struggled until the second set against Central Michigan but we pushed through and scored some points and it was an all-around great effort to close."
Senior Bentley Mancini (Burnsville, Minn.) and freshman Cassie Effken (Lincon, Neb.) tallied 16 kills and 15 kills, respectively to lead the Drake attack on the day. Effken was named to the all-tournament team for efforts. Fellow senior Jadranka Tramosljanin (Postal, Serbia) had a strong day with 13 kills and 30 digs.
Sophomore setter Halli Meyer (Bettendorf, Iowa) racked up 35 assists today, including a career-high 21 in the match against the Chippewas. Freshman setter Rebecca Brown (Bentonville, Ark.) tallied 14 this morning against the Tigers and a career-high 16 against CMU.
Drake and Central Michigan went back and forth in the fourth set with both teams taking leads and the Bulldogs held a 24-23 lead after a kill by Effken. The Dogs were unable to capitalize though and CMU tied the set at 24-24 and took the match after a kill by Val DeWeerd and a service error by Tramosljanin.
The Bulldogs fell behind 7-3 in set two after a kill by Kaitlyn McIntyre. Drake battled back with four straight points and the two teams traded points to get to 14-14. A kill by Katie Dulek (Lenexa, Kan.) put the Dogs up 15-14 and they went on to outscore CMU, 10-5 to earn their first set win of the season.
The Bulldogs built a 10-6 lead in the third set but the Chippewas battled back to cut the deficit to 10-9. The two teams traded points to knot the score at 15-15 but this time it was the Chippewas that went on a run to take the set, 25-20.
Drake committed 25 attack errors compared to just 15 for Auburn in the day's first match. Katherine Culwell posted a double-double with 10 kills and 12 digs. Tramosljanin just missed a double-double with eight kills and 13 digs.
"Our leadership has been good they are doing a good job of being vocal and helping the freshman at their respective positions with teaching points," Sunga said. "We have a bright future in front of us if we can continue to work as we prepare for our matches this season."
Drake will head south to the New Mexico State tournament next weekend for three matches. The Blue and White will face Northwestern in their first match on Friday, Aug. 31st at 5 p.m. They will face New Mexico State and Cincinnati on Saturday, Sept. 1.