Eagles Rally For Five-Set Win at Midwest Region Crossover

Eagles Rally For Five-Set Win at Midwest Region Crossover

INDIANAPOLIS – The Ashland University volleyball team fell behind by two sets to McKendree on Friday (Oct. 12) evening, but rallied for a wild 16-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-20, 15-10 win to even its record at 1-1 on the first day of the Midwest Region Crossover at The Academy Volleyball Club. The Eagles dropped its first match of the day to Illinois Springfield, 17-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-21.

The win over McKendree signified AU's first win in a five-set match this season in five tries.

The Eagles (17-5) will play the G-MAC's top seed Hillsdale at 1 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 13) in their final match of the Crossover.

#3 Illinois Springfield (GLVC) def. #3 Ashland (GLIAC) – 17-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-21

The Eagles were dominant in the first set against the Prairie Stars (16-4), hitting .357 while holding their opponents to a .167 mark.

UIS was able to respond in the second set, then went on to win the last two to become the first team this season to need less than five sets to beat the Eagles.

Ashland got a strong match from senior Reanne Neal, who tied for the team high of 13 kills (.423) against just two errors. She also had three blocks and an ace. Junior Shelby Woycik also had 13 kills (.122) with three blocks and 10 digs.

Junior Sophi Cudworth and freshman Erin Krupar had 11 kills apiece while redshirt-junior Michaela Ping tacked on seven kills.

Freshman Zoey Peck had a double-double with 47 assists and 13 digs. Senior libero Kaitlin Bean led the team with 17 digs.

Rachel Cobert totaled 17 kills to lead the Prairie Stars, who out-hit the Eagles, .259 to .220. UIS had a 10-5 edge in blocks.

#3 Ashland (GLIAC) def. #7 McKendree (GLVC) – 16-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-20, 15-10

The Eagles dropped the first two sets after struggling offensively, hitting at the .000 mark while losing 25-16 and 25-19.

Ashland started its offensive ignition in the third set, but didn't get separation until a mini 3-0 run turned a 14-14 tie into a 17-14 lead. A double block by Ping and Cudworth capped that run. AU would eventually use a 4-0 spurt to take a 22-16 lead and not look back. Woycik and Krupar had back-to-back kills to end the set.

The fourth set played out much the same as the third with the Eagles getting a little separation in the middle of the set before pulling away, using a five-point run with Neal serving to take a 22-16 lead. Cudworth's kill sent the match to a fifth set.

In the fifth, Ashland went on a 5-0 run, getting two kills and a block from Cudworth in that stretch, to take an 8-3 lead. The Bearcats (11-10) brought it back to 9-7 on Megan Marks' kill, but Woycik and Krupar quickly made it 11-7. The Eagles would go on to win the match on a McKendree error.

Peck set a career high with 60 assists and was just one dig shy of a double-double.

Krupar led the Eagles with 16 kills (.206), while Cudworth added 15 kills and four blocks. Ping racked up 14 kills (.448) with just one error and four blocks, while Woycik (12 kills) and Neal (10 kills) each reached double digits. Bean led the Eagles with 15 digs.

Hope Gramly led the Bearcats with 19 kills (.444) as they out-hit Ashland by a .285 to .181 measure.