GALESBURG — The Carl Sandburg College volleyball team rallied to force a fifth set before seeing its 10-match win streak snapped in a 23-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-20, 15-13 nonconference loss to Illinois Central on Wednesday night at John M. Lewis Gymnasium.
Coming off a big conference victory Tuesday at Sauk Valley, the Chargers (18-5) scored the final six points of the first set to grab an early advantage. Leading 23-19, the Cougars (8-10) thought they had forced a set point on a Jessica Norris block, but she was called for a net violation instead. Sandburg responded by closing out the set with six points on the serve of Cora Vyhnanek (West Prairie), capped by a kill from Hannah Thompson (West Prairie).
ICC took the next two sets, but the Chargers forced a fifth thanks to another run on Vyhnanek’s serve. Up 10-9 in the fourth, Jordan Price (Fulton) put down a kill that sparked an 11-point run. The surge included two Vyhnanek aces and kills from Sydney Boyd (Galesburg) and Josalyn Owens (Lincoln).
Four Courtney Oeder kills helped the Cougars to a 14-9 advantage in the fifth. The Chargers, playing their first five-setter of the season, saved four straight match points — twice on kills by Thompson — before Norris put down a kill to give Sandburg its first loss since Sept. 1.
Thompson totaled 15 kills to lead three Chargers in double figures. Owens finished with 12 kills and 18 digs. Price had 11 kills, a team-high three blocks and matched Vyhnanek and Thompson for the team lead in aces with two.
Vyhnanek, the national leader in assists entering the match, finished with 40 on the night, along with 14 digs. Libero Haley Stevenson (Galesburg) posted a team-best 26 digs for the Chargers. Thompson added 14 digs for Sandburg.
The Chargers are off until traveling to face Black Hawk at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Arrowhead Conference play. Sandburg (4-0) is the only team with an unbeaten league record.