The Ashland University volleyball team will put its 21-match home winning streak on the line this weekend when it welcomes No. 17 Ferris State and Northwood to Kates Gymnasium.
The Eagles (11-9, 4-5 GLIAC) will play the GLIAC North front-running Bulldogs (15-5, 8-1 GLIAC) on Friday (Oct. 20) at 7 p.m. as they try to extend their dominance on their home floor. AU follows that with a match on Saturday (Oct. 21) at 2 p.m. against Northwood (12-8, 4-5 GLIAC).
The Eagles are coming off a 1-2 weekend at the annual Midwest Region Crossover where they opened with a 3-2 win over Kentucky Wesleyan before dropping a pair of four-set matches to Southern Indiana and Missouri-St. Louis.
It was around this time last year that the Eagles went on a roll, winning 13 of 14 matches going into the GLIAC Tournament championship match. AU is looking for the same result this year as it tries to gain positioning for this season's conference tournament.
Sophomore Shelby Woycik leads the GLIAC with 370 kills on the season while junior Reanne Neal ranks fifth in the conference with 1.14 blocks per set. She averaged 1.54 blocks per set in the three matches last week and totaled seven service aces.
Senior libero Melanie Aguayo reached a career milestone last week as well, compiling her 1,000th career dig. She is currently eighth in the conference with 306 digs.
As a team, the Eagles are fourth in the GLIAC with a .206 hitting percentage. AU is also one of the strongest teams at the net, averaging 2.21 blocks per set to rank fourth in the league.
Ferris State is coming off a 1-2 weekend at the Crossover, dropping matches to Hillsdale and No. 1 Lewis and beating Indianapolis. The Bulldogs are second in the league in hitting percentage and they lead the GLIAC North by two matches over Northern Michigan.
Northwood went 2-1 at the Crossover with wins coming against Davis & Elkins and Quincy. The Timberwolves rank sixth in the league in kills per set (12.38) and second in digs per set (17.29).
The Eagles sit in fifth place in the GLIAC South, but just one match behind the second through fourth place teams, and just two behind first-place Wayne State.