TOPEKA, Kan.(WU Athletics) — Paced by double-figure kills from Kelsey Barrick, Leanna Willer and Sarah Vicory, No. 13 Washburn dropped No. 9 Central Oklahoma in four sets (25-19, 19-25, 25-18, 25-20) on Saturday in its regular season finale. With the result, the Ichabods improved to 26-5 overall and 16-2 in the MIAA moving them past the Bronchos (29-3, 15-3 MIAA) for second in the standings.
After trading 25-19 results in the first two sets, Central Oklahoma jumped to a 4-2 to start the third. Washburn then overtook the Bronchos as it pushed the score to 10-5 behind an 8-1 run as it benefits from six UCO attack errors. Makayla Maxwell then landed two of her seven kills of evening to help move the set to 14-8 in favor of Washburn.
Central Oklahoma responded by trimming the lead to three thanks to a 4-1 spurt to make it 15-12. After a back-and-forth exchange brought the set to 17-14, the Ichabods then registered five of the next six points to make it 22-15 before the sides alternated scoring until Washburn tallied the final point to take a 2-1 match lead.
Back-to-back kills from Barrick and Natalie Bates helped WU claim a 6-3 lead to begin the fourth before UCO tallied four unanswered to make it 7-6. Over the stretch of the next 15 points, both sides battled to seven ties and two leads with the Bronchos coming out on top with a 15-13 lead.
WU then retook making it 17-15 as Willer accounted for two of the four points. An attack by the Ichabods late allowed Central Oklahoma to capitalize and cut the lead to 20-19 late into the set. Bronchos were unable to rally as Washburn closed out the match by scoring five of the next six points.
Barrick finished with a match-best 14 kills, while Willer and Vicory followed with 13 and 12 respectively. Willer also tallied 11 digs en route to picking up her 61st career-double. Vicory lead all players with seven blocks. Alyssa Carney anchored the backline for the Ichabods as she registered a match-best 19 digs. Natalie Bates posted 30 assists.
Collectively, Washburn scored on 56 of its 159 attacks for a .170 hitting percentage including a .302 mark in the fourth set while twice holding UCO to sub-.100 hitting during the match.
The Ichabods now turn their attention to postseason play beginning with the MIAA Tournament on Tuesday as they host No. 7-seed Missouri Western at 7 p.m.