The Grinnell College volleyball team won again and took a big step toward qualifying for the Midwest Conference postseason tournament Saturday, shutting down Illinois College in three sets at Darby Gymnasium.
Grinnell, which won by scores of 25-14, 25-14 and 25-17, stretched its winning streak to four matches, the longest string of victories for the Pioneers since the 2002 campaign. Grinnell improved to 6-2 in the league and 8-13 overall, while Illinois College fell to 3-5 in the MWC and 3-15 overall.
Olivia Wilks ’12 (pictured), who Friday surpassed the 3,000-assist mark for her career, had 32 assists, four service aces and three blocks. Michelle Briggs ’13 tallied 11 kills, Bonnie Kircher ’12 had seven and Cheyenne Hickox ’15 added six while hitting at a .500 efficiency clip.
Briggs also had four blocks, Kate Duran ’12 tallied 13 digs and Kircher had 10 digs.
The Pioneers hit .248 as a team while holding Illinois College to a mere .035 hitting efficiency.
The teams were tied at 3-all in the first set before Grinnell took off with a 12-2 run. Wilks had a five-point service run in that span with three aces, while Claire Weidman ’15 served three points. The Pioneers never looked back after that.
Illinois College led the second set 11-9 before the Pioneers turned their fortunes around with a 10-1 run. Lindsay Fujimoto ’15 served seven points during the spurt, Briggs had three kills and Kircher two as Grinnell went on to eventually win by 11 points.
Grinnell shot out to an 11-3 lead in the third set, with Fujimoto serving five points, en route to the easy victory.
Grinnell will host Buena Vista University at 3 p.m. Saturday to conclude the home portion of its 2011 regular-season schedule.