Ashland Set To Host Volleyball Invitational

Ashland Set To Host Volleyball Invitational

The Ashland University volleyball team will take the court this weekend for the first time in 2019 as the Eagles host the AU Invitational at Kates Gymnasium. 

The first of 12 matches over two days will start at 9 a.m. on Friday (Sept. 6), running through Saturday night. Matches are scheduled to start every two hours with the Eagles playing at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

"We're excited to get on the floor," said second-year head coach Kevin Foeman, who took the Eagles to the NCAA Tournament in 2018. "It's been a long preseason and we're looking forward to going up against different competition."

The Eagles play Notre Dame (Ohio) (16-17 in 2018), California (Pa.) (20-13), Fairmont State (13-17) and Bloomsburg (6-22). Felician is the fifth school participating in the event.

This is the second straight year the Eagles have hosted a multiple-team event to start the season.

"It's really a great chance for our players to get out on their home court, in front of their family and friends, and showcase what they can do," said Foeman. "It's a challenging schedule for us to start the season and we'll see where we stack up early on."

The Eagles placed their entire starting lineup on the All-GLIAC squads last season and return three of them, including the GLIAC and Midwest Region Freshman of the Year, Zoey Peck. The Eagles' setter played every point last season and amassed 1,345 assists – the fifth-most in program history

The other two returning starters include senior outside/middle Sophi Cudworth and sophomore outside Erin Krupar. Cudworth, the lone senior on the squad, racked up 328 kills and 82 blocks last season while Krupar, now a sophomore, was second on the team with 362 kills and added 375 digs.

The Eagles also have juniors Lexi Lombardo and Brooke Peiffer to fill in the rotation after missing last season due to NCAA transfer rules. They were each named to the Great Midwest Athletic Conference second team as sophomores for Lake Erie in 2017.

Junior McKinley Smith also saw significant time as a defensive specialist last season and had 295 digs.

After this weekend's four matches, the Eagles will head to Hillsdale for four additional matches next week. They return to Kates Gymnasium on Sept. 19 to play Illinois Springfield.