It was anticipated to be a close match and it definitely was one. In the end, the home team won by the closest of margins as William Penn (WPU) topped the Bobcat volleyball team in five in Oskaloosa, Iowa, Tuesday night.
 
The match lasted two hours and 25 minutes with the Statesmen winning 20-25, 27-25, 27-25, 23-25, 15-13.
 
With the win, William Penn improved to 10-12 on the season and more importantly, to 5-8 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart). Peru State fell to 7-19 on the year and 3-6 in the Heart.

First Set Action
 
A kill by Claire Cudney (Marysville, Kan.) on an assist from Alexandra Chavarria (Hollister, Calif.) started the match. From there, the Statesmen would come back and take a four-point lead at 8-4 which was their largest lead of the set.
 
Eventually, the 'Cats would knot it at 10-10 after Alexis Cox (Brighton, Colo.) served up an ace. After the set was tied at 11, 12, and 13, an attack error by the Statesmen gave Peru State the lead for good in the set. The Bobcats would build their lead to six at 22-16 when Cassidy Davis (Colorado Springs) served an ace. A kill by Chavarria on an assist from Davis would give Peru State the 25-20 win.
 
Second Set Action
 
As the score of the second set would indicate, it was tight throughout. There were 18 ties and six lead changes in the second set alone.
 
William Penn would have an early 6-3 lead forcing a Bobcat timeout. The 'Cats would come back and later led by three at 15-12 after Mallory Matthies (Omaha) put down a kill on an assist from Darlene Quinonez Holguin (Anthony, N.M.).
 
After WPU tied it at 15-15, Grace Frederick (Benkelman) would put Peru State back in the lead with a kill from Quinonez Holguin. A service ace by Davis would give the Bobcats a two-point advantage, again only to see the Statesmen tie it again. William Penn went ahead and led by two at 22-20 and 23-21 before Frederick and Quinonez Holguin hooked up for back-to-back kills/assists to knot it at 23. The Bobcats actually had set point after an error by WPU before the Statesmen got a kill to tie it at 24.
 
Matthies would get a kill from Quinonez Holguin to give Peru State another set point only to see William Penn score the next three points for the second set win.
 
Third Set Action
 
William Penn would lead for most of the first part of the third set. After leading 11-6, the Statesmen would see Peru State fight back into the set.
 
The 'Cats eventually tied it up at 12-12 on a kill by Cudney on an assist from Quinonez Holguin. Later, the Bobcats would have a three-point lead at 23-20 after Matthies and Quinonez Holguin hooked up only to see the Statesmen come back to tie it up at 23. The Bobcats would get a kill from Cudney to once again have set point only to see WPU tie it. Tyra Mollhoff (Lincoln) would get a kill on an overpass to give the 'Cats another set point opportunity, but it was squandered again as William Penn eventually won 27-25.
 
Fourth Set Action
 
The Statesmen would actually lead almost the entire fourth set and led by six at 21-15 before Peru State decided to make a contest of it. WPU still had a 22-19 lead but three attack errors in a row – one of which was a block by Cudney – tied it up at 22-22.
 
William Penn would score the 23rd point before Cudney put down a kill on an assist from Davis to tie it up. A Statesman error was followed by another Cudney kill from Davis to give Peru State the fourth set 25-25 forcing a fifth and deciding set.
 
Fifth Set Action
 
Once again, William Penn jumped out to an early lead as they led 6-2 before Dawson Sharman (Sidney) got a kill from Pyper Roseberry (Ralston) to make it 6-3. The Statesmen would maintain the lead until it was later tied at 8-8 after a WPU error.
 
Peru State's first lead would come at 10-9 after another Statesman error. It would then be tied at 10, 11, and 12 before Mollhoff got a block to put the 'Cats up 13-12. A kill by WPU was followed by back-to-back attacking errors on the Bobcats which gave the Statesmen the fifth set and match.
 
Team Statistics
 
Neither team hit the ball very well, but the defense was part of the reason. William Penn hit .095 while the 'Cats hit .076. Both teams finished with 60 kills.
 
Peru State had four service aces and seven errors while WPU did not have any ace serves and finished with six serving errors.
 
The Bobcats had 102 digs – two more than William Penn. The Statesmen had a slight blocking advantage as they had 11.5 total blocks compared to ten total for the 'Cats.
 
Peru Individual Statistics
 
Cudney led all hitters as she finished with a match-high 18 kills. Chavarria and Frederick each added nine kills while Matthies added eight. Mollhoff contributed seven kills with Sharman adding six.
 
Davis led the team with 28 assists while Quinonez Holguin finished with 19. 11292
Tyra Mollhoff
 
Davis also led the team with two service aces with Cox and Arianna Waschowski (Bellevue) each adding one.
 
Cudney had a team-high 23 digs while Cox added 20. Quinonez Holguin and Waschowski finished with 17 and 12 respectively. Davis was one shy of a double-double as she had nine digs. Cheyenne Birkle (Holden, Mo.) finished with eight digs.
 
The Bobcats were not credited with any solo blocks. Mollhoff led the team with five block assists while Cudney was credited with four. Savanna Davis (Anchorage, Alaska) had three block assists while Matthies, Alyssa Childers (Lincoln), Roseberry, and Frederick each adding two block assists.
 
Upcoming Contests
 
The Bobcats will play two additional Heart contests this weekend at home. On Friday, the 'Cats will host Benedictine (Kan.) at 7 p.m. The Ravens are 11-14 on the season and are 6-3 in the Heart.
 
On Saturday at 2 p.m., the Baker (Kan.) Wildcats will be at the AWAC. The Wildcats are 9-16 on the year and are 3-6 in the Heart.