Home Local Sports VUVB keeps the winning streak alive with five-set thriller at Blazer Classic

VUVB keeps the winning streak alive with five-set thriller at Blazer Classic


VINCENNES, Ind. – The Vincennes University volleyball team extended their winning streak to eight games Saturday afternoon after sweeping Spoon River College 25-13, 25-11, 25-16 and defeating Jefferson College 19-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-23, 15-9 on the final day of the Blazer Classic.

The Blazers got the morning started at the Student Recreation Center by taking on Spoon River College from Canton, Ill.

After a back-and-forth start to set one of the day, VU used a 12-1 scoring run to take firm command of the set after building a 23-10 lead.

Spoon River attempted to rally late but could not overcome the big deficit as Vincennes took set one 25-13.

VU continued to roll into set two, building a six point advantage before the Snappers worked their way back and cut the VU lead to 15-11.

Vincennes would then turn to freshman setter Libby Mehringer (Jasper, Ind.) who closed out the second set at the service line, launching a 10-0 scoring run, including three aces to give the Blazers set two 25-11 and take a 2-0 match lead.

Spoon River wasn’t going to go down without a fight however, as the Snappers took the first four points of the third set before VU would take the lead back at 7-6.

SRC was still within two points of the Blazers midway through the third set before VU used a 5-0 scoring run late to help put the match away as VU took set three 25-16 and completed the sweep over Spoon River.

“Coming off of a big win in an emotional game last night against Mineral Area and then turning around and having to play again just over 12 hours after that match ended, I think it was a challenge for us to have that same type of mentality against Spoon River,” VUVB Head Coach Gary Sien said. “No disrespect to Spoon River but they are obviously not at the same level as Mineral Area. I thought that there were times, even though the final scores might not indicate it, where they just took it to us. It seemed like in every set at one point they had at least a four point lead on us and we had to work extra hard to close the gap and then to win.”

“I just thought we had some lulls out there,” Sien added. “Not that we didn’t have any reason to. But I said yesterday that we have to respect everybody. Give Spoon River credit because they were scrappy. They were swinging away at us today. But we were able to recover and that’s one thing about this team, they do a great job of recovering. We got a chance to play everybody on the roster in this match. Which rarely happens, so it’s always a good thing when we can.”

VU was led offensively by a double-double by reigning NJCAA Division I Offensive Player of the Week sophomore Paige Parlanti (Las Vegas, Nev.) who finished with 16 kills, 13 digs and one ace.

Sophomore Audrey Buis (Franklin, Ind.) was just under the double-digit mark, finishing with nine kills, five digs, three blocks and one ace.

Freshmen Isadora Dias (Rio Grande de Norte, Brazil) and Laura Tavares (Merida, Venezuela) each finished with eight kills, with Dias adding one block and one dig, while Tavares finished with three blocks and two digs.

Freshman middles Elisa Dalla Pozza (Vincenza, Italy) and Allison Czyzewski (Louisville, Ill.) rounded out the VU offense with Dalla Pozza finishing with four kills, a team-high five blocks, one dig and one set assist, while Czyzewski recorded one kill and two digs.

Sophomore setter Maecy Johnson continues to put the VU hitters in place extremely well, leading the Blazers with 23 set assists, four digs, three kills and one ace.

Libby Mehringer ended with nine set assists, three aces and one dig, while freshman setter Dylan DeCoursey (Montgomery, Ind.) finished with six digs and five set assists.

Defensively the Trailblazers were again led by sophomore libero Morgan Netcott (Montague, Mich.) who recorded eight digs and two set assists.

Freshman Grace Flexter (Oblong, Ill.) took over libero duties in the third set and ended the match with five digs and three set assists.

Sophomore middle Kennedy Sowell (Effingham, Ill.) helped keep the defensive pressure at the net against the Snappers, ending with two blocks and two digs.

The Trailblazers looked to continue this momentum in the final match of the 2023 Blazer Classic, when VU hosted the only team to defeat them so far this season, Jefferson College.

VU looked to have the early momentum in set one with a quick 6-2 lead before Jefferson swung the momentum to their side by outscoring Vincennes 14-3 and taking a 16-9 lead.

The Trailblazers would continue to battle and chip away at the Viking lead but were unable to take the lead back as Jefferson College took set one over the Blazers 25-19, ending VU’s streak of consecutive sets won at 21.

JeffCo looked to take control of set two as well, scoring the first four points of the second set before VU answered back with an 8-1 scoring run to take an 11-8 lead.

VU would grow their lead to six before Jefferson would rally back to within three.

Vincennes looked to close out the second set after using a 5-0 scoring run to take a 23-15 lead and traded side outs to grab set two 25-17 and even the match at 1-1.

Set three was the back-and-forth battle one would expect out of two very evenly matched teams, with neither side really able to gain a big advantage.

Jefferson’s biggest lead in the set was four as the Vikings took set three and earned the 2-1 match advantage, winning 25-22.

The Trailblazers looked determined not to lose on their home floor in the fourth set, setting the tone early by taking an 11-4 lead.

Jefferson would battle all the way back and take the lead at 16-15 before VU answered back with four unanswered to take a 20-18 lead.

The Vikings looked to have the Blazers backed in a corner with a late 23-22 lead before VU would rally to score three unanswered and take set four 25-23 and force a winner-take-all fifth set.

Similar to the match at Jefferson in August, the Blazers grabbed the early momentum in set five, scoring the first four points and later using another 4-0 scoring run to take a 10-5 lead.

Jefferson would look to answer back again but were unable to put together a scoring run of their own as VU came away with the fifth set 15-9 and won their eighth match in a row 3-2.

“It was just a moment in the match when we really needed that experience and consistency out there,” Sien said of switching to a one-setter offense before the fourth set against Jefferson. “In that situation when we are playing against a good team, it’s a whole new world of pressure out there. So, I just wanted some more experience out there and we switched around a couple of other positions as well.”

“In times like that, when everything is so crucial, it’s less difficult to direct instruction to one setter versus two setters,” Sien added. “It’s like having two quarterbacks in football. It can cause a lot of confusion. Again, I just really have to point out Maecy.  Even before we went to the 5-1 offense she was playing extremely well. I thought in both the fourth and fifth sets she made some good choices. So I definitely want to highlight her.”

“The whole world this weekend was camped out on Paige,” Sien said. “Literally all five sets, it seemed like three blockers were following her around. She didn’t have a clean look about 90-percent of the time. But she still got her kills and she got her swings out there. She was also able to work on some other shots. So I want to give her credit for being able to really use her entire repertoire of shots. When you are marked like that, you have to be ready for those types of situations and today I thought she was unflappable. I really want to highlight her, not just because of all of that, but also because of her leadership out there. That was something that we really needed because even though we won this match, we really didn’t play well for long stretches. To win this match really took some doing because there were times where Jefferson really took it to us and just outplayed us. So to be able to win this match even when we were not playing very well really says a lot about this team.”

Paige Parlanti completed the daily double, recording her second double-double of the day and eighth on the season with a team-high 17 kills, 17 digs, four blocks and one ace against the Vikings.

Laura Tavares cracked into the double digits for kills and was really close to a very impressive double-double of her own with 10 kills, eight blocks, five digs and one ace.

Audrey Buis just missed out on a double-double of her own with nine kills, 12 digs and one ace, while Isadora Dias recorded seven kills, one block and one dig.

Elisa Dalla Pozza had a spectacular game at the net for the Trailblazers, finishing with six kills and a team-high nine blocks, while also recording three digs.

Kennedy Sowell rounded out the VU offense with one kill and three blocks for the Trailblazers.

Maecy Johnson had a big game from the setter position, finishing just two assists under her career-high with 31 set assists, while also picking up five digs, a team-high three aces and one kill.

Libby Mehringer ended her day with 10 set assists and two digs.

Morgan Netcott again controlled the VU back row defense, ending with a team-high 29 digs and one ace.

The Trailblazers will be on the road to begin next week as VU gets set for three straight Region 24 matches, when Vincennes heads to Carterville, Ill. to face-off against John A. Logan College Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m.

Vincennes will then return home Thursday, Sept. 14 when VU hosts Lincoln Trail College at 7 p.m. before hitting the road again to begin the following week when the Trailblazers take on Kaskaskia College Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in Centralia, Ill.

Other Blazer Classic scores Saturday include Mineral Area winning over Wabash Valley College 25-14, 25-10, 25-13 and Jefferson College winning over Wabash Valley College 25-16, 25-15, 25-20.

“I call Wabash Valley, John A. Logan and Kaskaskia kind of like the Bermuda Triangle of Region 24,” Sien said. “Those are going to be the toughest places to play at. So it will definitely be a challenge that in our next three matches, we play at two of those three places. But it’s going to be different because we know that we are going to just get everything that they have. You are going to be fighting against the mentality and emotion, so how are we going to react to it? It’s not about talent at that point. Anybody could come in with a lot of talent but are they going to be ready for that. As well as their physical building that they play in. It’s not going to be as big of a place as we are used to here, so we are really going to have to ball control well.”

“We struggled with ball control this weekend but it was nice to have the big open facility here where it was okay,” Sien added. “But when the ceiling is low, the gym is smaller, you really have to keep everything within the four lines on the court. So that’s another thing that has to be considered is that ball control has to be a lot more precise than it was this weekend.”

“There are a lot of things in play for this match on Tuesday,” Sien said. “We obviously need to be ready. If we are ready, then we will be fine. But if we take it lightly, it will be a pretty tough time. Kaskaskia is going to be the same. We are always going to get good games with them. Lincoln Trail took the first set against us in Robinson this year. Anybody can beat you if you are just not on your game.”



Spoon River – 13   11   16   x   x

VUVB (11-1, 4-0) – 25   25   25   x   x


Grace Flexter – 5 digs, 3 set assists

Audrey Buis – 11.5 points, 1 ace, 9 kills, 3 block assists, 5 digs

Dylan DeCoursey – 6 digs, 5 set assists

Morgan Netcott – 8 digs, 2 set assists

Paige Parlanti – 17 points, 1 ace, 16 kills, 13 digs

Isadora Dias – 8.5 points, 8 kills, 1 block assist, 1 dig

Allison Czyzewski – 1 point, 1 kill, 2 digs

Maecy Johnson – 4 points, 1 ace, 3 kills, 4 digs, 23 set assists

Kennedy Sowell – 1 point, 2 block assists, 2 digs

Elisa Dalla Pozza – 6.5 points, 4 kills, 5 block assists, 1 dig, 1 set assist

Laura Tavares – 9.5 points, 8 kills, 3 block assists, 2 digs

Libby Mehringer – 3 points, 3 aces, 1 dig, 9 set assists


Jefferson – 25   17   25   23   9

VUVB (12-1, 4-0) – 19   25   22   25   15


Audrey Buis – 10 points, 1 ace, 9 kills, 12 digs

Morgan Netcott – 1 point, 1 ace, 29 digs

Paige Parlanti – 20 points, 1 ace, 17 kills, 4 block assists, 17 digs

Isadora Dias – 7.5 points, 7 kills, 1 block assist, 1 dig

Maecy Johnson – 4 points, 3 aces, 1 kill, 5 digs, 31 set assists

Kennedy Sowell – 2.5 points, 1 kill, 3 block assists

Elisa Dalla Pozza – 10.5 points, 6 kills, 9 block assists, 3 digs

Laura Tavares – 15.5 points, 1 ace, 10 kills, 1 solo block, 7 block assists, 5 digs

Libby Mehringer – 2 digs, 10 set assists