LA CROSSE, WISC. -- The Buena Vista volleyball team took part in the two-day UW-La Crosse Invite on Friday and Saturday, and the Beavers came up short in four matches, falling to UW-Superior (3-1) and UW-La Crosse (3-2) on Friday before dropping a pair of 3-0 decisions to IIAC foes Loras College and Central College, respectively, on Saturday.
Senior Lacie Drennan, a former Cherokw Washington High prep, is now third on the BVU single-season kills list with 420 following the weekend's matches. Drennan led all players with a match-high 20 kills, and also chipped in with a team-leading 14 digs defensively to go along with a pair of block assists. Freshman Kirsten VanZuiden followed with 12 kills, with senior Kacie Woodley just missing double-digits with nine. Freshman Courtney Van Haaften, an Alta grad, dished out 46 assists to go along with a pair of ace serves and six digs, and Senior Kelsey Essick, a Cherokee Washington High grad, registered 13 digs, while fellow senior Kirsten Brown registered four blocking assists.
BVU closed the night with a tough five-set setback against the host school, despite having four players finish with at least 10 kills. Drennan, Woodley and VanZuiden all chimed in with 13, while Brown added 10. Van Haaften tallied 52 assists, while also adding 10 digs. Essick turned in a team-high 25 digs, while Deni Peters added a career-best five total blocks.
The Beavers then squared off with conference foe Loras College to begin the day on Saturday. The Duhawks took a thrilling 29-27 set to begin the match before extending the lead with a 25-17 victory in set two. BVU tried to force at least one more set,but came up just short, 28-2.
Drennan again was in double figures to lead the way, posting 13 kills and adding 18 digs; VanZuiden was next with eight kills; Van Haaften chalked up 30 more assists, to go along with 11 digs; and Essick added to her team-leading season total with 12 digs.
BVU then closed the book on the two-day event with a tough three-set loss to the Dutch.
Drennan, who was also named to the All-Tournament Team, sits only five kills shy of moving into second on the single-season list, while trailing Ashley Wilde's single-season record of 462 by only 42 with two matches remaining. She's also only 22 shy of moving into third on the program's all-time career list with 813. Van Haaften pushes her season assist total to 1,133, which is the sixth-highest single-season mark in school history and second-most by a freshman.
Defensively, Essick became only the eighth player in school history since the start of rally scoring in 2001, to surpass 800 career digs. She heads into the final week of her career with 807 and is 21 away from seventh and 25 away from sixth.