AU Volleyball Starts Crossover With Comeback Victory

AU Volleyball Starts Crossover With Comeback Victory


THE TURNING POINT: Trailing 2-0 in sets and 23-22 in the third set, Ashland scored the final three points, then won sets No. 4 and 5.

STAT OF THE DAY: Ashland's win coming back from an 0-2 deficit is its first in nearly a full calendar year – Oct. 17, 2015, also at the Midwest Crossover, against McKendree.

One could excuse the Ashland University volleyball team if it is tired of the road.

After all, Friday's (Oct. 14) opener in the 2016 Mizuno Midwest Region Volleyball Crossover in Aurora, Ill., was the Eagles' sixth consecutive road match. Unfamiliar arenas, eateries and hotels, however, are easier to take following wins like Ashland's against Bellarmine – a 3-2 (21-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-17, 15-11) come-from-behind decision to snap a three-match losing streak.

The Eagles improve to 11-8 overall, while the Knights are 12-7.

Ashland's first comeback win from an 0-2 deficit in 363 days started in set No. 3, with the Eagles trailing 23-22. Three straight points got AU on the board, then it led the fourth set from 2-1 on. In the fifth and deciding set, Bellarmine took early leads of 4-0 and 5-1 before the Eagles embarked on their final comeback.

Senior outside hitter Alli Cudworth posted 20 kills and 13 digs for her ninth double-double of 2016. Another senior, Casey Clark, returned to outside hitter from a stint as libero and added 15 kills and 20 digs for her eighth double-double of the season.

Sophomore Reanne Neal filled up the stat sheet with 16 kills, five digs and a career-high-tying eight total blocks, while freshman outside hitter Shelby Woycik chipped in with 15 kills. Junior defensive specialist Melanie Aguayo led the defense with a career-high 27 digs, and senior Mallory Slyder (38 assists) and sophomore Kayla Pfeiffer (22) split setting duties.

UP NEXT: The second match of the day at the Crossover at 6:30 p.m. Eastern against Illinois-Springfield.