Eagles Rally In First Set, Sweep Tiffin

Eagles Rally In First Set, Sweep Tiffin

The Ashland University volleyball team overcame three set points in the opening set and rode that momentum to a 26-24, 25-23, 25-18 sweep of Tiffin in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play at Kates Gymnasium on Tuesday (Sept. 19) night.

With the win, the Eagles (7-4, 1-2 GLIAC) snapped a four-match losing streak while also extending their home winning streak to 19. AU will have a chance to get to 20 straight at Kates Gymnasium on Sept. 29 against Davenport.

On Tuesday, the Eagles trailed by a 24-21 count before rallying to the win in Set 1. Junior Reanne Neal's kill made it 24-22 before she combined with junior Kayla Pfeiffer on a block to cut the deficit to one. Two straight mistakes by the Dragons forced a timeout and gave AU a 25-24 lead, and an attack error by Grace Schreiber handed the Eagles the win.

The Dragons (5-6, 0-3 GLIAC) had a 15-12 lead in Set 2, but the Eagles went on another 5-0 run to take a 17-15 advantage with Neal serving. Ashland had three blocks in that stretch, including two straight by Pfeiffer and redshirt-sophomore Michaela Ping.

The Eagles stretched their lead to 20-17, but after a Tiffin timeout, the visitors scored four in a row to go up, 21-20. AU responded and an attack error by the Dragons gave the Eagles the win.

Trailing 15-13 in Set 3, the Eagles finished with a 12-3 run to put the match away. AU's defense was a major contributor, leading to sideouts on 88 percent of Tiffin's serves in the frame.

Ashland held a 9-4 advantage in blocks for the match and led in hitting percentage, .202 to .113.

Junoir Shelby Woycik and freshman Ellie Jensen each finished with 10 kills and both hit at least .200. Woycik had a double-double, adding 11 digs to her ledger.

Neal chipped in eight kills and sophomore Paige Leitz added seven. Ping had six kills and a match-high five blocks.

Senior Melanie Aguayo led the back row with 14 digs and Pfeiffer handed out 33 assists to go with eight digs.

The Eagles will finish a stretch of eight matches in nine on the road this weekend. They will first play Lake Superior State on Friday (Sept. 22) in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. at 7 p.m.