One of the best regular seasons in program history came to a close on Saturday (Nov. 3) afternoon, with Ashland University's volleyball team improving to 25-5 overall and 14-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference following a 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 25-15) victory over Wayne State at Kates Gymnasium.
Asked after the match if he thought his team could post this type of regular season, which includes a GLIAC South Division championship, first-year Eagle head coach Kevin Foeman said, "Yes. With the talent we had, I thought that we could put together a good season. I'd have been happy with really anything, as long as we had a chance to win every single match."
Ashland's 25 wins are the team's most since 2013 (26).
The Eagles go into the 2018 GLIAC Tournament on Wednesday (Nov. 7) at home at a time and against an opponent to be determined later having won nine matches in a row, seven matches in a row via sweep, and 23 consecutive sets overall.
"The confidence they have, it gives me the confidence that we will find a way," Foeman said. "That is what I am really enjoying. They are finding ways to win sets."
Defensively, Ashland kept the Warriors to a hitting percentage of .098 on Saturday. The Eagles have kept opponents to a .137 hitting percentage throughout the campaign, and seven straight opponents have hit .140 or worse.
"Like I said, when I got the job, defense is our specialty," Foeman said.
Four Eagles had double-digit digs on Saturday, led by senior libero Kaitlin Bean and junior outside hitter Shelby Woycik with 13 each. With 518 digs this season, Bean is tied for third on AU's all-time single-season list. With 1,295 digs in her career, Bean is fifth in Eagle history.
Offensively, Woycik posted a team-high 14 kills, and freshman setter Zoey Peck collected 37 assists. Peck now has 1,245 assists in 2018, 10th in AU's all-time single-season rolls.
Ashland's opponent on Wednesday will be determined by GLIAC matches later in the day on Saturday. The Eagles are 13-1 this season at Kates Gymnasium.
"If we can have a huge crowd out here," said Foeman, "the girls deserve it. We've had some pretty good support, but we'd love to have as many people as we can. It should be fun."