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Thomas More volleyball defeats Campbellsville, sets up conference showdown with Lindsey Wilson

By Don Owen
NKyTribune reporter

The temptation might have been there to look ahead, but Thomas More kept its focus entirely on Tuesday night’s Mid-South Conference volleyball clash with visiting Campbellsville.

And after securing a hard-fought 20-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-21 victory over Campbellsville, Thomas More players and coaches can now devote their full attention to an impending showdown with nationally ranked Lindsey Wilson that takes place Thursday night in Columbia, Ky.

“Our focus tonight was on (Campbellsville), and we take it game-by-game,” said co-interim head coach Elly Ogle after Thomas More staged a furious rally in the fourth set to clinch the win. “We haven’t even talked about Lindsey Wilson yet. That’s what’s next. Campbellsville is a really good team and that’s where we were focused.

“We know what’s at stake Thursday, and we’re ready to go.”

Thomas More’s Maddie Read (right) sets for teammate Jenna Mummert (left) during the fourth set against Campbellsville on Tuesday night. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

Emily Mohs finished with 14 kills as Thomas More improved to 11-4 overall, 6-1 in the Mid-South Conference. The Saints also gained sole possession of first place in the Mid-South Conference standings after Georgetown (Ky.) swept Lindsey Wilson on Tuesday night.

The Blue Raiders, who are ranked No. 10 nationally in the latest NAIA poll, are 13-4 overall and own a 5-2 mark in the Mid-South Conference. The loss on Tuesday night knocked Lindsey Wilson into a three-way tie for second place with Georgetown and Life (Ga.) in the conference standings.

Jenna Mummert added 13 kills and six service aces as Thomas More upped its winning streak to 26 consecutive matches at home dating back to the 2016 season. The Saints haven’t lost at home since Sept. 21, 2016, when Hanover pulled out a five-set victory in the Connor Convocation Center.

Mummert, a senior middle hitter, also chipped in 11 digs and six blocks. Lizzie Schoenfeld dished out 22 assists, served up three aces and scooped up 18 digs for Thomas More, which is in its first season as a member of the Mid-South Conference after making the move to the NAIA.

Campbellsville owned a 17-14 lead in the fourth set and appeared on its way to forcing a fifth frame, but Thomas More stormed back with a 9-2 run to take a 23-19 advantage when Mohs slammed down a kill. Mohs and Rana Cousin later combined to block Kymbra Kirby’s attack for match point, capping the comeback victory in the fourth set.

Sonia Flendrich and Sophie Ball each collected nine kills for Campbellsville, which dropped to 13-10 overall, 2-5 in the Mid-South Conference. The Tigers hit just .045 for the match and were kept off-balance by Thomas More’s strong serving the final three sets.

Emily Mohs (23) and Rana Cousin (left) block Campbellsville’s Kymbra Kirby (4) for match point, giving Thomas More a 25-21 win in the fourth set. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

Thomas More attacked at a -.019 clip in the opening set, allowing Campbellsville to gain an early advantage in the match. The Saints finished the match with a .110 hitting percentage.

“When you hit negative, you don’t give yourself a good chance to win,” Ogle said of the first set. “The next three sets we started swinging a little harder and swinging a little smarter, keeping the ball in play. That’s what really turned it around for us.”

Many of the Thomas More hitting errors were unforced in the first set, when Campbellsville bolted out to an 11-3 lead and cruised to a 25-20 win.

“I think we realized we didn’t come out strong, and we were making our own errors,” said Thomas More senior outside hitter Madison Krumpelman. “We were hitting in the negative (after the first set), but we came out in the second set and played much better.”

Krumpelman, who finished with 15 digs and four kills, said Thomas More was not looking past Campbellsville and expected a tough match from the Tigers.

“We knew Campbellsville is very good competition, and this game is good preparation for what’s to come on Thursday,” Krumpelman said. “This is a great win, and it gives us motivation for Thursday.”

Thomas More received a boost from the enthusiastic crowd, which included many members of the Saints football team.

“I know we haven’t lost at home in three years, which is kind of crazy, but the atmosphere here is great,” Krumpelman said. “Our football team came out tonight and supported us, and it’s a really good environment.”

Alli Borders finished with eight kills and four blocks, while Carlee Lambert added six kills and three blocks. Jess Ginn scooped up 14 digs, and Sara Crooker added 12 digs.

Lizzie Schoenfeld (12) dished out 22 assists, served up three aces and scooped up 18 digs for Thomas More, which is in sole possession of first place in the Mid-South Conference. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

Contact Don Owen at don@nkytrib.com and follow him on Twitter at @dontribunesport

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