Benedictine sophomore libero Kristijana Istuk digs the ball up for another Raven player Tuesday night against Baker at Ralph Nolan Gymnasium.

Ravens Volleyball kicked off a five-match homestand in a big way Tuesday night.

The Ravens defeated the Baker University Wildcats 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-22) inside the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium.

The Ravens took the opening set 25-21. Haylie Dickerson had 5 kills and a .300 hit percentage to lead the team. Mary Pat Taylor added 4 kills and 4 digs. Megan Luby also had 4 digs, while Marea Wortmann had 11 assists as the Ravens started the match off on the right foot.

The Ravens took a commanding lead in the second set behind the power surge of Regan Bruggeman. The freshman had 9 kills in the second set and the Ravens built a comfortable 21-13 lead. However, the Wildcats clawed back and trimmed the Ravens lead to 21-18. Taylor had a kill to break the Wildcats scoring streak, then Bruggeman’s kill put the Ravens up 23-20. Hailey Folkers finished the set off with two kills to give the Ravens a 25-20 win and a 2-0 lead.

The 2-0 lead for the Ravens was a familiar feeling; on Sept. 21 in the match hosted by Baker, the Ravens built a 2-0 lead only to see the Wildcats storm back and win the match 3-2. The Ravens refused to let that happen again on Tuesday.

A tight third set led to an exciting finish for the home squad. The Ravens had an 18-16 advantage, pushed it to a 22-19 lead behind two kills by Taylor, then advanced to match-point with a kill by Bruggeman. A long hit out of bounds by the Wildcats finished things off as the Ravens won the set 25-22, clinching the 3-0 match win.

Taylor had 6 kills in the final set while Bruggeman added 3 kills and finished the match with a .444 hit percentage. The Ravens as a team totaled a .256 hit percentage. Taylor led the Ravens with 14 kills, while adding 10 digs, and Bruggeman was right behind her with 13 kills. Dickerson added 7 kills and Maggie Schoening had 6 kills. The Ravens front line combined for 6 blocks against the Wildcats.

Wortmann notched 34 assists while chipping in 7 digs, 2 kills, and an ace. Kristijana Istuk led the team with 14 digs, Megan Luby had 10 digs, and Folkers was a force behind the service line, recording 4 aces in the match.

The Ravens improve to 12-10 on the season, 7-5 in Heart of America play. They’ll get a chance to enjoy some home cooking in the coming weeks as they have 6 more home matches and just one more away match to close out the regular season.

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