ASHLAND, Ohio – The Ashland volleyball team was unable to close out leads in the first two sets of its match at No. 24 Hillsdale on Saturday (Sept. 11) afternoon, leading to a three-set sweep by the Chargers (26-28, 25-27, 21-25).
The Eagles (3-3, 0-2 GLIAC) led, 17-10, in the first set against the nationally-ranked Chargers, but could not hold on for the win. Ashland had a chance to put the set away, ahead 24-23, but the Chargers won the next point and took the set, 28-26.
Ashland again led in the second set, 18-12, but failed to close out despite hitting .351. Down 23-18, Hillsdale coach Chris Gravel called a timeout to rally his team. The Chargers responded by scoring the next five points to tie the set at 23-23. AU scored the next point on a kill by sophomore Brittany Snider (Olmsted Falls, Ohio), but Hillsdale scored four of the next five points to win the set, 27-25.
The Eagles never led in the third set and fell, 25-21.
The Eagles had nine more kills than the Chargers in the match, but were turned away by seven Hillsdale blocks. AU also mounted 21 attack errors and 12 service errors in defeat.
Snider led the Eagles with 21 kills, while freshman Kate Eckels (Loveland, Ohio/Mt. Notre Dame) added 12 kills and 14 digs for a double-double. Junior Anesia Benton (Lima, Ohio/Senior) had eight kills in just 11 chances with no errors. Junior Arian Martin (Independence, Ohio) had 11 digs.
Ashlee Crowder paced the Chargers with 15 kills, while Clara Leutheuser had five kills and was in on four blocks (one solo, three assisted).
The Eagles will now get back on the road to continue its season-opening road trip. AU is slated to play at Wayne State later Saturday (Sept. 11) night at 7 p.m.