Eagles wallop rival Lakers in 3-0 sweep

Dean Paolucci, Reporter

The Ashland Eagles volleyball team was on a roll entering Kate’s Gymnasium on Saturday with a record of 8-2, and that roll continued against the rival Grand Valley State Lakers where the Eagles swept the Lakers 3-0.

The win improves the Eagles to a combined record of 9-2 and 2-0 in GLIAC play, while the Lakers fall to 7-3 and 0-2 against GLIAC opponents.

The Eagles impressive win comes against a Lakers team that was favored higher than the Eagles and defeated the Eagles twice last year by a combined score of 6-1.It is the first time since 1991 that the Eagles have swept the Lakers.

The match began with the Eagles taking the first set 26-24 in a back-and-forth effort from both teams. Ashland and Grand Valley were tied at 24-24 with one team having to win by two points. One kill by freshman Erin Krupar and an ace by senior Reanne Neal later, the Eagles took the first set.

The Lakers did bounce back in the second set, being up 21-16 late in the set. The Eagles, in dire need of a rally, answered and were led by junior Sophi Cudworth who scored two critical kills late in the set to tie the set at 22 a piece.The Eagles were unfazed after that, and completed the comeback late to win the second set by a score of 26-24.

The third and final set was dominated by the Eagles who never trailed in the set and who started with a 7-2 lead early in the third. The Eagles scored the final four points in the match between the two, including three kills from the redshirt junior Michaela Ping, winning the third and final set 25-17.

The Eagles were dominated on offense by a one-two-three punch from freshman Erin Krupar, junior Sophi Cudworth and senior Reanne Neal. The three combined for a grand total of 35 kills, as well as a combined 32.0 points. Freshman Zoey Peck also contributed valuable minutes, posting a team-high 36 assists.

The Lakers were led on offense by senior Staci Brower who put up 12 total kills, as well as Alexandra Thompson who contributed nine kills and 17 digs.

The Eagles will look for a road win as they travel to Wayne State on Tuesday (Sept. 11) with first serve at 7 p.m.