Eagles Polish Off Perfect Weekend With Sweep of Pitt-Johnstown

Eagles Polish Off Perfect Weekend With Sweep of Pitt-Johnstown

The Ashland University volleyball team won a tight first two sets against visiting Pitt-Johnstown before cruising to a third-set win in dismantling the Mountain Cats, 25-22, 26-24, 25-13, in the finale of the Quality Inn Ashland University Tournament on Saturday (Sept. 2) night at Kates Gymnasium.

The Eagles (4-0) won all four matches at the tournament and have now won 18 straight matches at Kates Gymnasium dating back to 2015.

Sophomore outside hitter Shelby Woycik was named the tournament's MVP, while junior setter Kayla Pfeiffer was also named to the all-tournament team.

"Shelby has the ability, physically, to take over a match with her athleticism," said head coach Cass Dixon. "She stepped up when we needed her to step up in the match against Lake Erie, because we were struggling in other areas. She performed how we needed her to perform."

Woycik hit .338 on the weekend while averaging 4.64 kills and 2.57 digs per set. Pfeiffer averaged 11.07 assists per set and helped the Eagles hit .309 as a team.

"Kayla was able to run our system very efficiently, thus putting Shelby in those positions to be effective. She really had a great weekend," said Dixon.

The Mountain Cats (3-1) stayed with the Eagles for the first two sets, which combined to have 22 tie scores and nine lead changes. In Set 1, AU led by just one, 23-22, but sophomore middle Sophi Cudworth ripped a kill and junior middle Reanne Neal and Pfeiffer combined on a block to clinch the set.

Pitt-Johnstown came back from 24-22 down to tie the second set at 24. Following an Ashland timeout, Neal put down a kill before Woycik met Noelle Carota at the net and stuffed a solo block to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.

The Eagles dominated the third set, limiting the Mountain Cats to minus-.033 hitting and smashing at a .400 offensively. 

Cudworth was the featured player for the Eagles, putting down 13 kills while hitting .400. She committed just three errors to help the home team hit .320 for the match. Woycik chipped in nine kills and Neal added eight.

Senior libero Melanie Aguayo led the team with 13 digs and Pfeiffer dished out 37 assists.

Noelle Carota led Pitt-Johnstown with nine kills and hit .350.

Joining Woycik and Pfeiffer on the all-tournament team were Carota, UPJ's Devan Orr, Lake Erie's Bethany Fisher, Urbana's Courtney Niesen and Truman's Natalie Brimeyer.

The Eagles will now travel to Rolla, Mo. for the Middle of Everywhere Tournament, hosted by Missouri S&T on Sept. 8-9.