Prairie Stars achieve sweeping victories in weekend conference


Photographs courtesy of Mounika Bayavarapu

Alyssa Hassler, for the Prairie Stars, jumps to spike the ball over to Ohio Valley

The Prairie Stars started off the season with back-to-back victories in the first weekend of the fall semester. The lady stars faced off against four different teams over the course of the two-day tournament.

On Sept. 1, the lady stars defeated Concord University and Ohio Valley University at the Capital Classic, finishing the day 2-0 for the first time since 2014. UIS ousted Ohio Valley, leading in all three sets, 25-9, 25-20, 25-13, respectively, to end the match. Team statistics reveal the Stars had half as many errors as Ohio Valley and scored twice as much.

Later in the day, the Stars carried their momentum, besting Concord in all three sets,25-15, 25-20, 25-15. Top point scorers for the day included freshmen Erin Ripple and Brianna Bush, and juniors Alyssa Hasler and Taylor Bauer.

Head Coach Trey Salinas said, “It was a great performance from everybody all around, they all did a phenomenal job finding a rhythm. Overall, it was a great performance to open the season”.

Day two of the classic saw similar victories for the Stars, defeating both Mississippi College and Oakland City University.

UIS gave a strong showing, sweeping Mississippi in all three sets, 25-14, 25-16, 25-11. Against Oakland City, UIS won 25-17, 25-10, 25-15 as they held the competition to a negative attack percentage on the match.

Adding to the team’s weekend accomplishments were the individual accomplishments of seniors Tiffany Wentworth and Lexi Hall. Wentworth became the fourth player at UIS during the Division II era to join the 1,000 assist club, and Hall became the UIS All-Time leader in assists.

Hall collected 1,566 for her career, 19 more assists than the record holder Rebeka Pruemer from the 2011-12 season.

“Tiff and I have grown up and matured as players together,” Hall said, “so the fact we each broke records in the same weekend is an awesome feeling.”

The Prairie Stars will see their next games on Sept. 14 and 16, facing off against Lewis University and Quincy University, respectively.

Mounika Bayavarapu
Opposing teams congratulating each other after the game