Eagles' Defensive Dominance Leads to 3-0 Win

ASHLAND, Ohio – After a five-set win earlier in the day, the Eagles gave their fans and followers a bit of a breather on Friday (Sept. 2) night with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-22) win over Florida Tech at the UIndy Invitational.

The Eagles (2-0) held the Panthers (0-2) to a negative-.020 hitting percentage (23 kills/25 errors/99 attacks) for the match. It is the lowest hitting percentage for an AU opponent since Sept. 18, 2009, when the Eagles held Lake Superior State to a negative-.061 output.

Senior libero Arian Martin (Independence, Ohio) had 13 digs to lead the Eagles on the back line.

Junior setter Crystal Elliott (Canal Winchester, Ohio) helped the Eagles maintain a balanced and consistent attack, piecing together her ninth career double-double with 24 assists and 10 digs. She also was 4-for-7 attacking in the match to go with two service aces.

The Eagles opened up a 9-1 lead en route to a 25-14 win in the first set, in which junior Brittany Snider (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) led the Eagles with four kills. She finished with a match-high 10 kills and eight digs.

In the second set, the Eagles continued their dominance, taking a 10-1 lead to start the set. The Panthers climbed back to within one point at 21-20, but two FTU attack errors sandwiched kills by Snider and sophomore Susie Jonas (Harrison, Ohio) to close the set in the Eagles' favor. Jonas had five kills in the match.

The third set was tied at 17-17, but freshman Kathy Fletcher (West Chicago, Ill./Community) polished off three straight kills from three different passers (Elliott, Snider and Megan Rohlfs (Loveland, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame)) to give the Eagles the lead for good. Fletcher had eight of her nine kills in the final set.

Sophomore Kate Eckels (Loveland, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) had a match-high three aces and added seven digs. Freshman Alyx Crislip (Louisville, Ohio) had six kills.

The Panthers were led by Caitlyn Ballweber, who totaled seven kills. Alexis Mastela had 16 assists and 11 digs. Ashley Bryant led all players with 18 digs.

The Eagles had their first match time on Saturday (Sept. 3) moved up to 10 a.m. against Northern Kentucky. They will are also scheduled to play Missouri S&T at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

AU will play its home opener on Friday (Sept. 9) at 7 p.m. against Wayne State.