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Warriors win in three straight against rival Simpson University

Vanguard visits Friday
By: Brianna Campbell for The News Messenger/Placer Herald
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The William Jessup University women’s volleyball team got an early lead against non-conference rival Simpson University and stayed there to take three straight sets in front of a full house in Warrior Arena Tuesday night.

The student section was alive for the annual “Ring the Bell” game, cheering the Warriors on after suffering a tough loss Saturday. It helped the Warriors restore momentum going into their next Golden State Athletic Conference match Friday.

“Resiliency is a huge theme for us this season,” WJU head coach Shasta Millhollin said. “And tonight proves that our team is taking that to heart by picking up a big win.”

In the opening set the Warriors got ahead quickly 5-2, but the Redhawks battled back to make it an intense game. That lasted until visiting Simpson met the Lady Warriors’ leading killers to finalize the set. Jessup was led by freshman Taylor Jacky (5 kills), sophomore Makenzie Reeder-Esparza (3) and junior Kassidy Huevelhorst (4) to close out the set 25-20.

“Taylor, Makenzie, and Kassidy have been putting in tons of extra reps in practice these past few weeks. They have dedicated themselves to making improvements on their timing offensively,” said Millhollin. 

Coach Millhollin also added “A big part of their (Jacky, Reeder-Esparza, and Huevelhorst) success is our setter Jessica Williams because her location is on point and she distributes the ball very well.”

The Warriors started the second set where they left off scoring  seven straight points. Huevelhorst had three straight kills, giving the Warriors an 11-4 advantage. The Redhawks were not fazed by the early run and cut the lead to 19-15 before Jessup rallied to 25 and take a 2-0 lead at the break. 

The final set had some phenomenal serving behind driving forces Williams and Alicia Borges. Borges served up back-to-back aces, grabbing the momentum with a 9-6 lead.

Simpson continued to battle despite being down two sets, chipping away to cut the lead to14-13 that kept the crowd loud. Jessup tried to pull away 19-13, but Simpson brought it down to the wire 21-20 before the Warriors scored four straight points to take the sweep over Simpson.

“It is so exhilarating to see such a huge group of the student body come out to support us,” stated Millhollin. “Our players love playing in a packed gym!”

The Warriors take on Vanguard University Friday night for a conference faceoff starting at 7 p.m.