ASHLAND, Ohio – The AU volleyball team was off to one of its best starts in recent memory with a 9-3 record entering this weekend. Now the Eagles will have to work their way back to their previous form after dropping their third straight match on Sunday (Oct. 9) against Saginaw Valley State at Kates Gymnasium.
Sophomore Baley Bernthisel (Grand Rapids, Mich./Otsego), freshman Kathy Fletcher (West Chicago, Ill./Community) and senior Anesia Benton (Lima, Ohio/Senior) each hit at least .400 in the match with six kills or more to lead the Eagles offensively. Benton does not have an error in the last two matches and is hitting .595 with 22 kills.
The Eagles (9-6, 7-4 GLIAC) scored the first point of the match on a kill by Snider. After that, the Cardinals took four straight points and did not relinquish the lead in the first set.
AU was sharp early in the second set, opening up an 11-2 lead. Snider and Benton each mixed in kills and Bernthisel had a solo block and two block assists in the stretch.
The Cardinals (9-6, 8-3 GLIAC) responded with their own run and cut the AU lead to 14-13. The Eagles scored the next two points, but SVSU went on a 7-1 run to take command of the set.
Snider opened the third set with a kill, but the Cards scored the next eight points with Annie Buxton on the serve. The Eagles never got within four from that point.
Senior Arian Martin (Independence, Ohio) recorded 10 digs. She has double-digit dig totals in 14 of her 15 matches this season. Sophomore Kate Eckels (Loveland, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) had eight digs for AU.
Buxton and Becky Schroeder had 11 kills each to lead the Cardinals. Buxton also had a match-high 11 digs and Sam Breault dished out 35 assists.
The Eagles will not play at Kates Gymnasium for four weeks as they hit the road for an extended stretch. AU returns to the floor on Friday (Oct. 14) at the GLIAC/GLVC Crossover in Aurora, Ill. The event will run through Saturday (Oct. 15). Match schedules and opponents will be announced this week.