AU Wins Seventh Straight Match, Stays Undefeated At Home

AU Wins Seventh Straight Match, Stays Undefeated At Home


THE TURNING POINT: Down 2-1, Ashland won the fourth set 25-18, then the fifth set, 15-13, to keep its winning streak alive.

STAT OF THE DAY: The Eagles kept the Dragons to a cumulative hitting percentage of .074 after a first-set percentage of .265.

It wasn't easy, but for Ashland University's volleyball team, it was another victory.

Returning home for the first of three matches at Kates Gymnasium this week, the Eagles improved to 17-8 overall and 8-5 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference after a 3-2 (18-25, 25-17, 23-25, 25-18, 15-13) win over Tiffin on Tuesday (Nov. 1) night.

The Dragons are 16-11, 6-7.

Ashland has won seven consecutive matches, its longest streak since an 11-match stretch from Oct. 26-Nov. 23, 2013.

The Eagles swept the season series against the Dragons, having taken a 3-2 decision in Tiffin on Sept. 27.

"It's probably pretty similar to the first time we played them," said Ashland head coach Cass Dixon. "They do a lot of really good things, especially when they are in system. They're running fast at you. Our goal is to be able to slow them down.

"It wasn't necessarily always pretty, but we did what we needed to do. Today, I thought we did a really good job of managing our emotions. There were some pretty intense moments."

A back-and-forth match saw the Eagles and Dragons tied at two sets each. A fifth set which featured seven ties ended up in Ashland's favor when senior right-side hitter Alli Cudworth's 12th kill of the game gave it the 15th and decisive point. 

Senior outside hitter Casey Clark led the AU offense with 19 kills and while adding 11 digs. Both Cudworth and freshman outside hitter Shelby Woycik added 12 kills, and Cudworth had 11 digs. Sophomore setter Kayla Pfeiffer had 46 assists and 12 digs.

Ashland's defense finished with 24 block assists and two solo blocks, led by Woycik (two solos, five assists) and freshman middle blocker Sophi Cudworth (six assists).

"It's a matter of putting yourself in the right place," Dixon said of a defensive effort which kept the Dragons to a .074 hitting percentage in the match's final four sets. "Making sure that you position yourself…and seeing what angle of approach their attacker is taking."

UP NEXT: Friday (Nov. 4) at 7 p.m. at home against Lake Erie.