AU Volleyball Tops Warriors, Clinches GLIAC Tourney Home Match

AU Volleyball Tops Warriors, Clinches GLIAC Tourney Home Match


THE TURNING POINT: Down 15-11 in the first set, Ashland rallied to take a 1-0 lead.

STAT OF THE DAY: The Eagles' .127 hitting percentage was their lowest in a victory in 2016.

After having a nine-match winning streak snapped at No. 5 Wheeling Jesuit on Tuesday (Nov. 8) night, would Ashland University's volleyball team respond coming home on Friday (Nov. 11) night against Wayne State?


On Senior Night at Kates Gymnasium, the Eagles clinched second place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's South Division, and a home GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal match on Wednesday (Nov. 16) night, after a 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-19) victory over the Warriors. Ashland is 20-9 overall and 11-5 in the GLIAC, while Wayne State is 19-10, 10-7.

"We did a good job," said Ashland head coach Cass Dixon. "Very proud of the way that they came back after losing in three to Wheeling Jesuit, to now come back and beat a good team in Wayne in three."

Trailing 15-11 in the first set, Ashland scored five straight points, then took a 23-19 lead before starting the match 1-0. In set No. 2, the Warriors had a 22-21 advantage before the Eagles went on a 4-1 run to go ahead 2-0 in the match.

There were 28 tie scores and 17 lead changes on Friday.

Ashland's three seniors were integral in Friday's victory. Right-side hitter Alli Cudworth had a team-high 10 kills to go with five service aces, seven digs and four block assists, outside hitter Casey Clark had five kills and eight digs and setter Mallory Slyder posted 22 assists, three service aces and five digs.

"She hasn't seen a lot of playing time this year because of the injury, and then we were doing really well, so it's hard to make changes in lineups that way," said Dixon of Slyder. "She did a fantastic job coming in, starting and running the court for us."

Junior libero Melanie Aguayo had a team-high 11 digs.

Ashland's team hitting percentage of .127 was its lowest in a win in 2016. That was offset by nine service aces and 15 Wayne State service errors.

"We weren't as sharp offensively tonight as we have been, but we served very well," Dixon said. "When the other team gives you free points, it definitely helps."

UP NEXT: The last regular-season match of 2016, on Saturday (Nov. 12) at 2 p.m. at Kates Gymnasium against Findlay.