Allendale, Mich.— In its second match of the weekend, the Ashland University volleyball team had trouble stopping the Grand Valley State Lakers as Grand Valley won the match 3-2 (25-15, 18-25, 14-25, 25-18, 15-10) Saturday afternoon (Oct. 6) in Fieldhouse Arena.
Two Eagles (13-4, 6-3) hit the double digit mark in kills totals, senior outside hitter Brittany Snider (Olmsted Falls, Ohio / Olmsted Falls) led the team with 19. Junior outside hitter Kate Eckles (Loveland, Ohio / Mount Notre Dame) tallied 17 kills in the loss.
Senior setter Crystal Elliott (Canal Winchester, Ohio / Canal Winchester) recorded her seventh double-double of the season, totaling 44 assists and 16 digs against the Lakers (13-4, 6-3). Junior, Marci Zegarac (Lansing, Ill. / South) added a match high 30 digs.
Grand Valley had two players record double digits in kills and hit .188 as a team. Abby Aiken recorded a match-high 24 while the Laker defense totaled nine blocks and limited the Eagles to .133 in hitting.
After a back-and-forth rally at the beginning of the first set, the Lakers took the 10-6 advantage. Down 18-9, Ashland attempted to cut into the lead with a kill by Snider from Elliott. The duo struck again to bring the score to 19-12, but the Lakers took the first set decisively, 25-15.
Ashland turned the tables on Grand Valley in sets two and three. The Eagles limited the Lakers' hitting percentage to .163 in the second and -.103 in the third. Ashland was now in the driver's seat as the scoreboard read 16-10 in favor of the Eagles. Grand Valley tried to close the gap; however it was Ashland that ended the set in its favor, 25-18.
In set three Ashland had the 8-5 advantage, after a kill by Aiken, the Eagles won the next seven points leading the Lakers, 15-6. Grand Valley could not hang on as the Eagles finished the third set, 25-14.
The Eagles and Lakers battled through the opening part of set four. Ashland had the two-point lead at the 15-13 mark, but after two Eagle errors the Lakers found their rhythm and finished the set with an 11-3 run.
The 25-18 fourth set victory helped the Lakers even out the match total, 2-2. The fifth set began with a 7-3 Grand Valley run. The Lakers were up 13-10, and finished the set and match with two straight kills.
The Eagles return to action October 12 when they travel to compete in the GLIAC/GLVC Crossover.