Eagles Outlast Oilers, 3-2, End Home Regular Schedule 10-0

Eagles Outlast Oilers, 3-2, End Home Regular Schedule 10-0


THE TURNING POINT: After trailing two sets to one to Findlay, Ashland hit .478 and .400, respectively, in sets 4 and 5.

STAT OF THE DAY: The Eagles end the regular-season with a 10-0 record at Kates Gymnasium.

Ashland University's volleyball team is one of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's hottest teams going into the 2016 conference tournament.

The Eagles finished the regular season with 11 wins in the last 12 matches after a 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 24-26, 25-15, 15-10) come-from-behind victory against Findlay at Kates Gymnasium on Saturday (Nov. 12) afternoon. Ashland is 21-9 overall and 12-5 in the GLIAC, while the Oilers are 21-8, 13-4.

"We have come a long way this season, from the start to where we're at right now," said Ashland head coach Cass Dixon. "I couldn't be prouder of the progress as a team and the commitment of our girls."

Ashland ends the regular season at 10-0 at home, which is where the Eagles will begin the 2016 GLIAC Tournament on Wednesday (Nov. 16) at 7 p.m. as the No. 3 seed against No. 6 seed Wayne State.

Findlay and Ashland played three tight sets, resulting in a 2-1 Oilers lead. After that, the Eagles turned it on, posting a cumulative hitting percentage of .438 and keeping UF to a .193 percentage in the last two sets to earn the victory.

Four Eagles recorded double-digit kills on offense – freshman outside hitter Shelby Woycik (15), senior outside hitter Casey Clark (14), senior right-side hitter Alli Cudworth (13) and sophomore middle blocker Reanne Neal (10). Sophomore setter Kayla Pfeiffer added 46 assists, and Neal had eight of the Eagles' 24 block assists.

Junior libero Melanie Aguayo had 24 digs, marking the fifth time she has collected 20-plus digs in a match in 2016. Clark had 17 digs for a double-double, and Cudworth had 11 for double-double, leaving her 33 shy of becoming the program's third 1,000 kills-1,000 digs player.

"She (Aguayo) just did a phenomenal job," Dixon said, "and one of the things I was most impressed with today was, if she missed a dig, it did not affect her next play. I was really proud of that, that she did not become frustrated.

"Our defense was phenomenal. We would not have been able to do what we did offensively if it was not for our defense."

UP NEXT: A home 2016 GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal match on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against an opponent to be determined.