Northwood Edges Ashland in Five Sets

Crystal Elliott & Susie Jonas
Crystal Elliott & Susie Jonas

ASHLAND , OH -- The Ashland volleyball team had a 2-1 advantage before a late Northwood rally in the fourth set propelled the Timberwolves to a 3-2 (24-26, 20-25, 25-23, 26-24, 17-15) win Friday (Oct. 19) in Kates Gymnasium.

Ashland (16-5/6-4 GLIAC) seemed to have gained control of the match, building a 23-18  margin late in the fourth set before Northwood (16-5/10-0) came roaring back, winning the next eight of nine points to tie the match at 2-2. The Timberwolves' momentum carried over into the final set as Northwood came out on top and won the match, 3-2.

Ashland knocked down 70 kills to 66 for Northwood, but costly errors hampered the Eagles from winning the match.

Senior outside hitter Brittany Snider (Olmsted Falls, Ohio / Olmsted Falls) had a match-high 29 kills to add to three assists, seven digs, a block solo and a block assist. Setter Crystal Elliott (Canal Winchester, Ohio / Canal Winchester) added a double-double with 48 assists and 12 kills, the senior also tallied nine digs and hit .391 in the match.

Along with Snider and Elliott, Kate Eckels (Loveland, Ohio / Mount Notre Dame) reached the double-digit mark in kills with 13 on the evening. Maureen Johnson (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Crystal Lake South) added eight kills and was a powerhouse on the net, the sophomore middle blocker recorded five block assists and recorded 10.5 points on the night.

Ashland and Northwood rallied back and forth at the start of the first set. The Timberwolves pulled away and led the Eagles, 17-12. After a 6-0 run led by Snider, the Eagles were up 18-17.  The match ended on an attack error by Northwood as Ashland claimed the first set victory.

The Eagles led 21-15 late in the second set after a kill by Eckels from Snider. Northwood attempted to make a run but could not hold on as the Eagles went up 2-0. Ashland hit .258 as a team in set two and held Northwood to .083 in team hitting percentage.

After falling 25-23 in set three, set number four was tightly contested and neither team was able to pull away early. The Timberwolves picked up the pace late in the set and won eight of the last 10 points in the set.

The teams traded blows in the fifth set and Ashland took the early 6-3 lead before it tied the set at 14-14. Ashland took the led once more from a kill by Snider from Elliott. Northwood won the next three points and took home the win.

Next up, Ashland faces Hillsdale on Saturday (Oct. 20, 2 p.m.) at Kates Gymnasium.