#13 Northern Kentucky Tops AU in Four Sets In Crossover Opener

Crystal Elliott & Alyx Crislip
Crystal Elliott & Alyx Crislip

ASHLAND, Ohio -- In the opener of the Mizuno GLVC/GLIAC Crossover Tournament, the AU volleyball team dropped a 3-1 match to No. 13 Northern Kentucky on Friday (Oct. 14) in Aurora, Ill.

The Eagles won the second set, but the Norse came away with the match by scores of 25-18, 16-25, 25-14, 25-17. It was Ashland's fourth straight loss after winning seven of eight.

Senior Anesia Benton (Lima, Ohio/Senior) led the Eagles offensively with 12 kills and a .318 hitting percentage. Freshman Kathy Fletcher (West Chicago, Ill./Community) recorded 11 kills and a .308 hitting percentage.

The Eagles (9-7) trailed by five points early in the first set, but rallied to come within one point at 14-13, and again at 16-15. From there, NKU went on a 5-0 run to put the set away. The Eagles were solid offensively, hitting .318, but the Norse hit a blistering .444.

In the second set, the Eagles hit .333 in the second set and never trailed on their way to the win. Benton and junior setter Crystal Elliott (Canal Winchester, Ohio) each had four kills in the set. Elliott finished the match with 31 assists and six digs.

The third and fourth sets belonged to the Norse as the Eagles struggled to mount a consistent attack. AU led, 4-1, in the fourth set after a kill by Benton, but NKU (16-2) rattled off 11 of the next 13 points to take command.

Senior Arian Martin (Independence, Ohio) and sophomore Kate Eckels (Loveland, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) had 10 digs apiece for the Eagles.

Noelle Peterson led the Norse with 16 kills and a .500 hitting percentage. Jenna Schreiver posted 40 assists and Kylee Tarantino had a match-high 12 digs.

The Eagles' schedule doesn't get much easier as they will play No. 21 Lewis at 6:30 p.m. (EDT). AU is slated to play Bellarmine on Saturday (Oct. 15) at 2 p.m. (EDT) in its final match at the Crossover.