VUVB split with D-II Top-10 teams to close out Parkland Fall Challenge


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Vincennes University volleyball team faced another tough test Saturday afternoon on the final day of the Parkland College Fall Challenge against NJCAA Division II No. 4-ranked Heartland Community College and No. 10-ranked Lincoln Land Community College.

The Blazers split the day, falling to Heartland C.C. 21-25, 23-25, 23-25 before picking up another big five-set comeback victory to end the weekend against Lincoln Land 22-25, 13-25, 25-10, 25-16, 15-10.

Vincennes got off to a slow start Saturday against Heartland Community College, putting up a great fight by forcing two sets to go the distance, before ultimately falling in three sets to the Hawks 21-25, 23-25, 23-25.

“The whole day was like our version of Groundhog Day, it was a repeat of Friday,” VUVB Head Coach Gary Sien said. “We did not play particularly well but yet remained within striking distance. It always goes back to our ball control. When that’s consistent, so is our offense. The offensive production was not very strong, as we are still in the midst of getting our lineup back how it was previously.”

The VU offense was led by freshman Isadora Dias (Rio Grande de Norte, Brazil) who recorded her second-career double-double with 10 kills, 12 digs, while also adding one block and an ace.

Freshman Elisa Dalla Pozza (Vincenza, Italy) had another big game at the net, ending with seven kills and a team-high four blocks, while also adding four digs and one ace.

Sophomores Kennedy Sowell (Effingham, Ill.) and Paige Parlanti (Las Vegas, Nev.) each recorded four kills, with Sowell adding two digs, while Parlanti recorded one dig.

Sophomore Audrey Buis (Franklin, Ind.) and freshman Laura Tavares (Meridia, Venezuela) each finished the game with three kills, with Buis also adding seven digs and a pair of aces, while Tavares recorded three digs and one block.

Freshman Libby Mehringer (Jasper, Ind.) rounded out the VU offense, finishing with two kills and one dig.

Sophomore Maecy Johnson (Chrisman, Ill.) ran the VU offense, ending the game with 33 set assists, three digs and one kill.

Sophomore libero Morgan Netcott (Montague, Mich.) controlled the VU back row defense, finishing with a team-high 26 digs.

Freshmen Grace Flexter (Oblong, Ill.) and Dylan DeCoursey (Montgomery, Ind.) also added some extra help defensively. Flexter finished with four digs and DeCoursey added three digs.

The Blazers looked to close out the weekend on a high note against D-II No. 10 Lincoln Land but quickly fell behind early with the Loggers jumping out to a 20-9 advantage in the opening set.

VU would answer back, cutting the deficit down to one by outscoring Lincoln Land 13-3 but were unable to completely erase the big lead as the Loggers took set one 25-22.

Lincoln Land carried this momentum into set two, scoring the first six points of the set and later building a double-digit lead at 15-5.

The Blazers were unable to put together a big scoring run this time however as Lincoln Land looked to be in complete control by taking set two 25-13 and holding a 2-0 match lead.

Having faced this same situation yesterday against Southeastern Community College, the Blazers knew exactly what they had to do to get back in this match and went about it in a big way.

Vincennes used two 6-0 scoring runs early in set three to jump out to a big 16-3 advantage.

Lincoln Land would try to answer back but were unable to cut into the VU lead as Vincennes grabbed set three 25-10.

The Loggers looked to get back on track in set four, taking an early 6-3 lead before VU evened the score and took the lead with four unanswered to take a 13-10 advantage.

Vincennes would ride this momentum swing to outscore the Loggers 10-3 and close out the fourth set 25-16 to force a winner-take-all fifth set.

The fifth set began with the two teams trading side outs before VU grabbed the early advantage with a 7-5 lead.

Vincennes would put the match away with a 3-0 scoring run as the Trailblazers completed their second comeback from an 0-2 deficit in as many days, taking the fifth set 15-10.

“It’s called a reverse sweep,” Sien said. “When you come back to win a match after being down 0-2. Very unusual to have that happen on consecutive days. I thought the ‘sweeps’ part of the sets we won were very dominant, as we caught a glimpse of how the team was.”

“We are in the middle of reincorporating Paige and Audrey back into the lineup and that takes time,” Sien added. “It was a tough weekend. We were not at our best a good part of the time but it was encouraging to see us getting closer to reestablishing our team core. When that happens, our strength in blocking and offense step right to the forefront.”

The VU offense was led by Paige Parlanti who returned to the floor in a big way, picking up right where she left off with team-highs in 18 kills and 19 digs, while also adding a pair of blocks.

Isadora Dias also reached double-digit kills against Lincoln Land, finishing with 16 kills, seven blocks, two digs and one ace.

Audrey Buis had a good all-around game, ending with eight kills, 17 digs, two blocks and one set assist.

Middle blockers Elisa Dalla Pozza and Kennedy Sowell finished the weekend with a big game at the net, with Dalla Pozza ending with six kills, a team-high eight blocks, two digs and one set assist, while Sowell added five kills, six blocks, one dig and one set assist.

Laura Tavares rounded out the VU offense, ending with two kills, three digs and one block.

The offense was again run by setter Maecy Johnson who finished with 32 set assists, six digs and three blocks, while fellow setter Libby Mehringer added nine set assists and two digs.

Morgan Netcott patrolled the back row defense ending the weekend with 16 digs, two set assists and one ace.

The Trailblazers will look to continue this momentum into their next match when the Blazers return home to VU to play in front of the home fans for the first time since Sept. 14 and the first time on the Physical Education Complex floor since Aug. 26 when Vincennes hosts Region 24 opponent Wabash Valley College Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. eastern on Faculty and Staff Appreciation Night.

The Blazers will keep the homestand going into the weekend when VU hosts the Showdown on the Wabash Friday, Oct. 6 and Saturday, Oct. 7.

Vincennes will take on St. Louis C.C. at 3 p.m. eastern and D-II No. 19 Wallace State C.C. at 7 p.m. eastern on Friday and Edison State C.C. Saturday at 2 p.m. eastern.

“We might have one of the toughest road schedules in the country,” Sien said. “We have played in three different states during this stretch. Playing against ranked opponents while dealing with lineup changes and so on. This tough stretch should prepare us well as the Region and District, unlike last year, are on the road. This has done an incredible job.”

“We will recognize the professors and staff members on Wednesday who have been influential in the lives of our students as part of our Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day,” Sien added. “These individuals have a special place in the hearts of our students. Their example and impact will be felt for a lifetime.”



Heartland – 25   25   25   x   x

VUVB (20-4, 8-0) – 21   23   23   x   x


Grace Flexter – 4 digs

Audrey Buis – 5 points, 2 aces, 3 kills, 7 digs

Dylan DeCoursey – 3 digs

Morgan Netcott – 26 digs

Paige Parlanti – 4 points, 4 kills, 1 dig

Isadora Dias – 11.5 points, 1 ace, 10 kills, 1 block assist, 12 digs

Maecy Johnson – 1 point, 1 kill, 3 digs, 33 set assists

Kennedy Sowell – 4 points, 4 kills, 2 digs

Elisa Dalla Pozza – 10.5 points, 1 ace, 7 kills, 1 solo block, 3 block assists, 4 digs

Laura Tavares – 3.5 points, 3 kills, 1 block assist, 3 digs

Libby Mehringer – 2 points, 2 kills, 1 dig


Lincoln Land – 25    25    10   16    10

VUVB (21-4, 8-0) – 22   13    25    25   15


Audrey Buis – 9 points, 8 kills, 2 block assists, 17 digs, 1 set assist

Morgan Netcott – 1 point, 1 ace, 16 digs, 2 set assists

Paige Parlanti – 19 points, 18 kills, 2 block assists, 19 digs

Isadora Dias – 20.5 points, 1 ace, 16 kills, 7 block assists, 2 digs

Maecy Johnson – 1.5 points, 3 block assists, 6 digs, 32 set assists

Kennedy Sowell – 8 points, 5 kills, 6 block assists, 1 dig, 1 set assist

Elisa Dalla Pozza – 10 points, 6 kills, 8 block assists, 2 digs, 1 set assist

Laura Tavares – 2.5 points, 2 kills, 1 block assist, 3 digs

Libby Mehringer – 2 digs, 9 set assists