The two-time defending champions were short-handed for the start of the Marshall volleyball playoffs.
But the Space Station Spikers won with just four players.
They beat the Flying Penguins 23-25, 25-20, 15-7 and the Rocket City Raptors 25-13, 25-13. In round robin play Oct. 28 on the west court at the Marshall Wellness Center, they earned the top seed for Division A-1.
“Good teamwork, good communication,” Space Station Spikers captain Alysse Bishop said. “And great hustle by everyone, especially Spenser.”
Spenser Kockler, a 5-foot-10 outside hitter, had 17 kills and five aces for the Space Station Spikers (2-0).
“Good sets, getting the ball back,” Kockler said. “Keeping our serves in and good defense.”
Andrew Walters had 26 kills and four aces. Shawn Finnegan made 13 kills, two blocks, three aces and two digs. Bishop added two kills and six digs.
The Flying Penguins outlasted the Rocket City Raptors 25-23, 14-25, 16-14 in the nightcap to earn the second seed. After round robin play Nov. 4 in Division A-2, the Division A tournament bracket begins Nov. 7 and concludes with the championship final Nov. 21.
Alex Thomas had 14 kills and seven aces for the Flying Penguins (1-1). Team captain Alex Allen had 11 kills while Ben Craigmyle made eight. John Rogers had six kills and three digs. Eddie Davidson added three kills and three aces. Cori Fletcher contributed three aces and three digs.
“Just a tough match,” Allen said after the loss to the Space Station Spikers. “They kept bringing the ball up, good sets. And then they had their choice of spiking or hitting it short and finding the hole.”
Tiffany Lockett served two aces for the Flying Penguins on her 35th birthday.
“I love it, I love it,” Lockett said. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Ellie Pollock had eight aces, two kills and three digs for the Rocket City Raptors (0-2). Team captain Adam Butt had six kills and three aces. Zack Standridge made seven kills. Max VanKeuren had five kills and five digs. Chris Burnside made three aces, three kills and two blocks. Jason Bosworth served two aces.
“It was fun. It was a fun warmup,” Butt said between matches. “We’re ready for the next one. We’re on to Cincinnati.”
The Rocket City Raptors moved up after winning last year’s Division B championship.