The Ashland University volleyball team won two matches on Saturday (Aug. 25) – the final day of the Ashland Invitational – to move to 4-0 on the season.
The Eagles were outstanding defensively in both matches, holding Nova Southeastern to a minus-.063 hitting percentage and limiting Bellarmine to a .013 hitting rate. Ashland had 26 blocks over the two matches.
Ashland def. Nova Southeastern, 25-8, 25-18, 25-16
The Eagles started their match against the Sharks (0-4) with five straight points and a 8-1 run. They closed the frame on a 9-3 run with sophomore Ellie Jensen putting down the final kill. The Eagles committed just one error in the first set and racked up 12 kills.
A 5-0 run with junior Shelby Woycik serving pushed AU's lead to 11-4 in the second set and the Eagles never looked back. In the third, Ashland trailed, 11-9, but a kill by freshman Erin Krupar stopped an NSU run and started a 5-0 burst by the Eagles. Ashland scored the last six points of the match with sophomore McKinley Smith serving.
Woycik led the Eagles with 10 kills (.259) and 10 digs. Krupar added nine kills (.238). Neal had five kills (.556) and a team-high six blocks and Jensen was 4-for-5 with no errors.
Kim Blasko paced NSU with seven kills and Caylee Cox had 10 assists.
Ashland def. Bellarmine, 25-13, 14-25, 25-16, 25-18
The Eagles pulled away in the first set with a 5-0 run with Neal on the serve, then finished the set with six straight points as Krupar served AU to a first-set win.
The Knights (2-2) rebounded in the second frame, hitting .290, the only time they would hit over .000 in the match.
In the third, junior Sophi Cudworth led the Eagles with six of her team-high 15 kills as she caught fire at the top of the attack.
Ashland forced Bellarmine into 10 hitting errors in the fourth set to secure the win as Cudworth's back-to-back kills fittingly ended the match.
She hit .438 and made just one hitting error. Woycik chipped in 12 kills and 15 digs for her fourth double-double. Krupar added eight kills and Neal led the front row with eight blocks.
Peck handed out 30 assists and matched Krupar's 16 digs for the team lead.
The Eagles will now head to Findlay Aug. 31-Sept. 1 for four matches against stiff competition. They will play Missouri-St. Louis at 11 a.m. Friday and Hillsdale at 4:30 p.m.