The Ashland University volleyball team opened the 2013 season with a 3-0 victory over IUP at the Ferris State Bulldog Invitational. This was also the season opener for IUP.
The Eagles ran away to a 25-14, 25-17, 25-17 triumph. Freshman outside hitter Alli Cudworth had a team-high nine kills for AU. That total also led all players in the contest. She was one of five Ashland players with six or more kills. Kate Eckels, a senior outside hitter, had eight kills and Rylee Scott and Samantha Zuber had seven kills apiece. Scott is a freshman middle blocker and Zuber is a sophomore middle blocker. Freshman outside hitter Casey Clark finished with six kills.
Marci Zegarac had a team-high 22 digs and three aces. AU had seven aces.
In the first set, Ashland roared out to a 6-0 lead and at one point led, 16-4. The second set was tied, 12-12 when the Eagles took control of the proceedings by scoring five consecutive points to grab a 17-12 lead. IUP could never recover from that flurry.
In the final set, with AU ahead, 14-12, the Eagles reeled off six straight points and led, 20-12. Again, IUP had no answers for that run.
Ashland will play four times in this two-day event. The Eagles' second match on Friday comes against one of the nation's most established programs - Washburn. The Ichabods are ranked seventh in the country.