Eagles Return Home For 3-1 Win Over Northwood

Eagles Return Home For 3-1 Win Over Northwood


THE TURNING POINT: After losing the third set, Ashland ran out to a 5-0 lead in the fourth set en route to the match win at home against Northwood.

STAT OF THE DAY: The Eagles' cumulative hitting percentage in their three sets won was .370.

Ashland University's volleyball team returned to Kates Gymnasium looking to get in a groove.

Now, the Eagles will look to get over the hump.

In a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference home match on Friday (Oct. 21) night, Ashland defeated Northwood, 3-1 (25-15, 25-19, 26-28, 25-13). The Eagles notched their fourth consecutive victory and improved to 14-8 overall and 5-5 in the GLIAC, while the Timberwolves fall to 12-8, 3-6.

Ashland has won four straight matches three times in 2016. It will look to record its first five-match winning streak of the season on Saturday (Oct. 22) at 2 p.m. at home against Hillsdale (13-7, 5-4).

The Eagles are 4-0 at home in 2016, and have won 16 of their last 19 home matches.

"Being on the road six of the last seven weeks, and having the opportunity come and play at home is a relief for everybody," said Ashland head coach Cass Dixon. "It was really nice to be back here in front of a home crowd."

Ashland led Northwood 15-12 in the first set before going on a 10-3 run to go up 1-0 in the match. The Eagles kept the Timberwolves at arm's length in set No. 2, eventually taking a 2-0 lead.

Ahead 2-1 going into the fourth set, Ashland ran off five straight points at the onset and didn't look back.

"It was a good day," Dixon said. "We played really well in sets 1 and 2. It's (the fourth set) the best that we have done from the start after losing a set prior. We were very composed. We weren't frazzled at all."

Four Eagles – freshman outside hitter Shelby Woycik (13), senior outside hitter Alli Cudworth (12), sophomore middle blocker Reanne Neal (11) and senior outside hitter Casey Clark (10) – had double-digit kills in the victory. Clark added a team-high 17 digs for her 11th double-double of 2016, and her fourth in a row.

Junior libero Melanie Aguayo had 13 digs, and sophomore setter Kayla Pfeiffer added 40 assists and 10 digs. Cudworth had six of AU's nine service aces.

"Since we made the lineup switch, this is the fourth match playing with this lineup, and we've had four people hitting over .300, which is really good," Dixon said. "It's part of the reason why we made that switch."

UP NEXT: Saturday at 2 p.m. at home against Hillsdale.