SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Early leads against two of the nation's top teams slipped away on Friday as the Evangel volleyball team fell, 3-1 to 3rd-ranked Missouri Baptist and 3-1 to No. 11 Midland in the Evangel Tipoff Classic.
Evangel took set one before the Spartans rallied back to take a 21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 31-29 win. The Crusaders matched the nation's third-ranked team hitting .240 in the first set and .304 in the fourth set.
Senior Heather Gahm led Evangel with 16 kills and .406 hitting percentage while freshman Tori Lowry added 14 kills and .237 hitting percentage. Bridget Petersen added five blocks on the defensive side of the net while Jorden Stacey added 23 digs.
The final match of the tournament came down to the wire as Midland rallied back to take a 27-25 win in the fourth set.
Evangel matched the Warriors statistically and even out-hit Midland with a .154 hitting percentage as both teams tallied nine blocks as a team.
Fishback tallied 21 assists and Jelovac added 19 in the loss.
Evangel continues preseason tournament action next Thursday and Friday at the College of the Ozarks Silver Dollar City Tournament. The Crusaders will take on Hannibal-LaGrange and SAGU on the first day and close out action against Bellevue and College of the Ozarks on Friday.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EUAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.