AU Volleyball on route to another successful season



Junior Brooke Peiffer goes up for a spike.

John Margida, Reporter

The Ashland University volleyball team has gotten out to a quick start this season with a record of 18-4 overall and 7-2 within the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference.

The Eagles have been in this position before as last season the team also got to a good start early on. The team had a great 2018 season with a 25-5 regular season record but teetered off at the end, losing their first match in the GLIAC tournament and the NCAA tournament.

“I think last year we peaked too early and I think this year we’ve done a good job of winning matches that we needed to win,” head volleyball coach Kevin Foeman said. “We haven’t peaked yet, so I’m really looking forward to seeing us all grow and find that time where we click. Once that happens we are going to be tough to beat.”

This season’s team may not finish with the gody conference record or overall record as last years, but they are on a similar pace.

The team looks much different with the departure of three seniors that graduated in the Spring, two of whom who were especially impactful to the team dynamic. One of them was three-time All-GLIAC senior Shelby Wyochick.

“It’s a lot different position-wise and we are more scrappy this year than being all power-focused in years past,” senior Sophi Cudworth said.

Senior Sophi Cudworth celebrates with freshman Chelsey Farris (left) and sophomore Zoey Peck (right).

With the loss of those players, the Eagles were able to feel confident with the addition of seven freshman coming into the fold. Two seasoned veterans returned also in the likes of Lexi Lambardo and Brooke Peiffer.

The Eagles have put in the hard work to overcome the loss of those players and maybe even become a stronger team as a whole.

Foeman credits the great start to the season with the extensive work that was put in during the offseason.

“Our girls came in prepared and in shape over the summer, and we got after it every practice,” Foeman said. “We didn’t ease into the season we got straight into it. We wanted to be in midseason form going into our early season tournament, and we were able to sweep our four games. The girls put in a lot of hard work in the little amount of time we had in our preseason.”

At the midway point of the volleyball season, Foeman is pleased with where the team is at but admits that the team hasn’t reached its full potential yet.

“Our goals for the season so far have been small, just to improve and get better every day. The other was to go into the Region Crossover in first place. The latter took a hit with us losing two of our last three heading into it,” Foeman said.

The AU volleyball team dominated at the Midwest Region Crossover this past weekend winning all three of there matches by a final score of three sets to one giving them a great launching point into the second half of the season.

“Our game against Northern Michigan we played a few weekends ago was the best we looked as a team during a match so far this season,” Foeman said.

“We’ve had a lot of really good individual matches where one of our girls will just take over and I think that match was our best as a whole team. Number one to 18, every single person helped out in that win. Some of the calls during the Northern Michigan game didn’t go our way, but we were able to win in the fifth set and that was our favorite moment this season.”

“Just being with the girls is probably my favorite memory so far and this has been my favorite team to play within my four years of being here. It is just a lot more fun this year and we are all really close,” said Cudworth.

The Eagles look to continue their season when they take on Northwood Friday, Oct. 25th at 7 p.m. and Ferris State on Saturday, Oct. 26th at 5 p.m. Both matches are being held at Kates Gymnasium.

“Our goal is a National Championship and that’s been our goal from the moment coach stepped onto campus. That is what we are aiming for this year even if it does seem far way for us but I don’t think it’s that far away from us, I think it is possible for us to do this season,” Cudworth said.