Eagles Sweep Davenport, Win 20th Straight At Kates Gymnasium

Eagles Sweep Davenport, Win 20th Straight At Kates Gymnasium

The Ashland University volleyball team ran its home winning streak to 20 with a sweep of visiting Davenport, 25-18, 25-21, 25-19, in GLIAC action on Friday (Sept. 29) night at Kates Gymnasium.

The Eagles (9-5, 3-3 GLIAC) were dominant on both sides of the floor, hitting .283 while limiting the Panthers (7-7, 3-3 GLIAC) to a .089 mark. Ashland was consistent throughout the match, hitting at least .263 in each of the three games.

"We've been working a lot this week about being disciplined defensively," said head coach Cass Dixon. "We did a good job of doing that. It makes it so much easier. It doesn't allow for those ups and downs, it's that consistency. You're able to find a rhythm, stay in the rhythm and not be phased even if you are behind for a couple points."

The win was the Eagles' 20th straight at Kates Gymnasium, the historic building that has housed the team for the last 50 years. The athletic department at AU is holding a year-long celebration of Kates Gymnasium, and the celebration for former volleyball players began tonight and will conclude with Saturday's match against Purdue Northwest.

"I really try not to think about [the winning streak], but I know that the girls know it," Dixon said. "We're not allowing it to be a pressure situation for us. Whatever the number is, the number is and we're going to take care of what we need to do. That number will take care of itself if we do the right things."

The Eagles were overpowering on offense. Five players finished with at least seven kills, led by sophomore Shelby Woycik, who racked up 15 kills against just two errors for a .351 hitting percentage. She also posted her sixth double-double of the season with 10 digs, adding three blocks.

Junior Reanne Neal chipped in nine kills and hit .533 with three blocks. Redshirt-sophomore Michaela Ping had eight kills (.429) and sophomore Sophi Cudworth and freshman Zoie Franklin had seven kills apiece.

Freshman setter Kali Apelt had her first career double-double with 37 assists and 13 digs while senior Melanie Aguayo picked up 11 digs.

Ashley VanderHorst led the Panthers with nine kills (.562) with no errors. The Eagles led in kills, 48-29, and blocks, 7-3.

First serve for Saturday's match against Purdue Northwest is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Kates Gymnasium.