The Ashland University volleyball team saw its season-opening six-match winning streak come to an end on Sunday as the Eagles lost a pair of matches to host Missouri S&T and No. 18 Washburn on the final day of the Middle of Everywhere Tournament in Rolla, Mo. on Saturday (Sept. 9).
The Eagles are now 6-2 on the season and open Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play on Friday (Sept. 15) at 7 p.m. at Grand Valley State.
Missouri S&T def. Ashland – 25-15, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22
The Miners led wire-to-wire in the first set against the Eagles, who rallied in Set 2. Ashland trailed by a 21-18 mark in the second frame, but closed the set on a 7-2 run, the finishing point coming on a service ace by sophomore Shelby Woycik.
In the third set, the Miners (4-4) built an eight-point lead and held off the Eagles, who cut it to as few as two points, 22-20 after a block by sophomores Paige Leitz and Michaela Ping. The Miners scored four of the next five points to take a 2-1 lead.
The Eagles had a 22-20 lead in the fourth set, but Missouri S&T reeled off five in a row to win the match.
Woycik paced the Eagles with a double-double (21 kills, 15 digs) and freshman Zoie Franklin added eight kills. Ashland hit just .139 as a team. Senior Melanie Aguayo led the back row with a season-high 29 digs and junior setter Kayla Pfeiffer handed out 39 assists.
The trio of Claire Friedlund, Emilee Schlader and Ellen Schulz all had double-digit kill totals for the Miners.
No. 18 Washburn def. Ashland – 25-23, 25-18, 25-11
The Eagles fought off three set points at 24-20 in Set 1 against the Ichabods, including a kill by Pfeiffer, a block by Pfeiffer and junior Reanne Neal and a Woycik kill, but Washburn finally put the set away on Makayla Maxwell's kill.
Had Ashland won the first set, the match may have gone differently, but the Ichabods scored the last seven points of Set 2 and won the third frame going away.
Neal led the Eagles with eight kills and hit .412 in the match. She also had two blocks and two aces. Woycik and Ping had seven kills apiece while Pfeiffer led the team with 18 assists. Aguayo led the back row with 17 digs.
The Eagles hit .096 for the match while Washburn had a .286 hitting percentage. Erica Montgomery led the Ichabods with10 kills.