The Ashland University volleyball team is on the road, but it is not playing middle-of-the-road competition. On Saturday afternoon (Oct. 29) in Detroit, the Eagles put together a 3-0 win over Wayne State in a key GLIAC matchup.
The victory evens Ashland's overall record at 11-11. The Eagles are 9-6 in conference play. The win was AU's second this season over the Warriors (11-12/7-8). On Sept. 9, AU opened GLIAC play with a 3-1 triumph over Wayne State at Kates Gymnasium.
This time around, AU posted a 25-20, 26-24, 25-23 win. The victory gives the Eagles a 1-1 mark on this important road trip. Friday night, Ashland lost at Hillsdale. On Sunday (Oct. 30) the Eagles will play at Findlay. Earlier this season, the Eagles stopped the Oilers, 3-2.
In the first set, the teams were tied, 6-6, when the Eagles ran off the next seven points to go in front, 13-6. The Warriors could never bounce back from that salvo.
In the second set, AU trailed, 16-9, 19-10 and 20-12. Trailing 24-22, AU got a kill from sophomore Kate Eckels (Loveland, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) to pull to within a point, 24-23. Ashland tied the game on a successful block, courtesy of sophomore Baley Bernthisel (Grand Rapids, Ohio/Otsego) and senior Anesia Benton (Lima, Ohio/Lima Senior). Two attack errors by Wayne State sent the set to the Eagles.
Ashland broke out on top, 16-10 in the third stanza. AU was ahead, 24-20 when the Warriors rallied for three consecutive points. Ashland wiped out any WSU hopes of a complete comeback on a kill by Eckels.
Junior Brittany Snider (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) and Bernthisel had seven kills each. Junior Crystal Elliott (Canal Winchester, Ohio) finished with 31 assists and seven digs while senior Arian Martin (Independence, Ohio) had a team-high 18 digs. Sophomore Megan Rohlfs (Loveland, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) had 13 digs.
The Eagles have not played at home since Oct. 9. Sunday's date at Findlay will mark Ashland's fifth consecutive road contest since the last home match, against Saginaw Valley State. This extended road trip began with the GLVC/GLIAC Crossover on Oct. 14-15.