Eagles Survive Five-Setter, Escape Davenport With Win

Eagles Survive Five-Setter, Escape Davenport With Win

The Ashland University volleyball team put together an efficient offensive night, hitting .259 as a team, and escaped host Davenport with a five-set thriller win, 20-25, 25-17, 25-20, 21-25, 15-13, on Friday (Sept. 27) evening in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Eagles (12-2, 4-0 GLIAC) have now won seven straight and improved to 2-0 on the season in five-set matches. Ashland was 1-6 in such contests last season.

On Friday night, with the offense clicking at a solid rate, it came down to the defense. And as the defense went, so did the Eagles.

The Panthers (2-12, 0-4 GLIAC) hit .381 in the first set and claimed the win, then forced a fifth set by hitting .316 in the fourth. Ashland held Davenport to .152 hitting or lower in the other three frames.

AU fell behind by a 4-1 count in the fifth set, but got its first lead on a block by redshirt-freshman Chelsey Farris and redshirt-junior Brooke Peiffer that made it 6-5. Peiffer's kill on the next point forced a Davenport timeout.

The Eagles did not trail after that, but things got a little nervy after an ace by Kiera Lasky saved a second set point for the Panthers.

After an Ashland timeout, Peiffer put down a kill to end the fifth set and the match for the Eagles.

Peiffer put down 20 kills (.265) on the night with 13 digs, and sophomore Erin Krupar added 18 kills and 18 digs. Sophomore setter Zoey Peck also had a double-double with 56 assists and 15 digs. 

Senior Sophi Cudworth had 13 kills (.276) and junior libero McKinley Smith finished with a match-high 23 digs

Megan Herr led the Panthers with 18 kills (.268) while Sami White had 54 assists and 10 digs.

The Eagles will look to extend their winning streak on Saturday (Sept. 28) at 4 p.m. when they play Grand Valley State in Allendale, Mich.