Eagles Fall to Wayne State in Four

ASHLAND, Ohio – Junior Anesia Benton (Lima, Ohio/Senior) had a team-high 14 kills and hit .500, but the AU volleyball team lost to Wayne State, 3-1 (25-21, 19-25, 25-18, 25-21), on Thursday (Oct. 28) night at Kates Gymnasium.

The Warriors (11-11, 9-6 GLIAC), who hit an AU opponent season-high .343 in the match, moved one match ahead of Ashland (15-9, 8-7 GLIAC) in the conference standings.

The Eagles struggled offensively in the first set, hitting just .077 (12-9-39), while the Warriors pieced together a .371 hitting percentage.

Ashland picked up its play in the second set, getting a 4-for-6 performance from Benton and a 5-for-7 set from freshman Baley Bernthisel (Grand Rapids, Ohio/Otsego).

Wayne State picked up a win in the third set after jumping out to a 14-7 lead. The Eagles led early in the fourth set, 16-14, but the Warriors took control with a 9-2 run to take a 23-18 lead that AU could not recover from.

Senior Sophie Paddock (Girard, Ohio/Hubbard) continued her outstanding recent play with eight kills in 14 attacks with no errors. She has just one error in her last six matches and none in her last four. In her last four matches, Paddock is hitting .659 with 29 kills.

Freshman Kate Eckels (Loveland, Ohio/Mt. Notre Dame) finished with 10 kills and sophomore Crystal Elliott (Canal Winchester, Ohio) had a team-high 33 assists.

Junior Arian Martin (Independence, Ohio) led the Eagles defensively with 24 digs, her second-highest total of the season.

Ashland had problems stopping the Warrior attack, especially Maureen MacDonald, who finished with a match-high 18 kills, and Katarzyna Sak, who had 16 kills. Cydney Biessel had a match-high 50 assists.

The Eagles return to the home floor on Friday (Oct. 29) when they host Findlay at 7 p.m. UF beat the Eagles in five sets at Findlay earlier this season.