AU Volleyball siezes victory

By Nick Zavarella

The Ashland University volleyball team is winners of five straight and seven of their last ten matches. The Eagles took advantage of home court by dropping only one set to Indianapolis during the first game of the home stand. The rest have been straight set victories for the purple and gold.

Over the weekend, AU defeated Lake Erie College in the first game away from Kates Gymnasium since Sept. 18. The Storm (3-12, 0-8 GLIAC) sits in the basement of the GLIAC South and lost in straight sets to the Eagles last Thursday. Ashland is in a tie for second place with Tiffin behind the 13-1, 10-0 Hillsdale Chargers.

The second opponent for AU (10-4, 5-3) was at No. 9 Taylor University on Saturday in Upland, Ind. The Eagles dropped the third set but won the match, (25-17, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20).

Lake Erie

Ashland made the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center in Painesville, Ohio feel like home when the Eagles dominated the Storm in all facets of the game.

AU took the first two sets without breaking a sweat before Lake Erie made a stand in the third and final set. The result was the same as the first two thanks to a seemingly unstoppable offensive attack by the Eagles (25-10, 25-16, 25-19).

Sophomore setter, Crystal Elliott collected 41 assists on 45 total kills as a team. Doing the killing was sophomore Brittany Snider, freshman Kate Eckels and junior Anesia Benton. Snyder led both teams with 18 total kills while Eckels and Benton added 10 each. Benton hit .833 going 10-for-12 with no errors and is currently leading the conference in hitting percentage. The three combined to hit .469 for the match.

As a team, the Storm hit .062 compared to AU’s .369.

Snider and Eckels added six digs apiece to lead AU, while junior Arian Martin and senior Lauren Schweitzer each had five digs.

Taylor University

The Trojans were able to stretch AU to four sets but key defensive stops allowed the Eagles to win five straight and seven of the last eight.

The same offensive power was present for Ashland but the Eagles had to come up big on the defensive side to secure the win.

The Ashland squad totaled six blocks holding Taylor to a hitting percentage of .133. Freshman Baley Bernthisel had four total blocks, one of which was solo. Benton added fours assisted blocks.

Snider had 21 digs, Arian Martin had 15, Lauren Schweitzer had 11 and Elliott added 10 of her own creating a formidable defensive presence.

Offensively, Snider led the Eagles with 22 kills accompanied by Benton who hit .350 for the match committing only two errors in 20 attempts.

For the Trojans, Ashlyn DeHoogh and Kelsey Pritchard had 13 kills apiece while Betsy Brown added 38 assists.

Ashland will stay on the road as they head to Michigan for a three-match GLIAC North trip starting today against Grand Valley State at 7 p.m. Friday, AU will travel to Ferris State followed by Saginaw Valley State on Saturday. GVSU holds the best record of the weekend opponents with an overall record of 9-5, 8-2 GLIAC.