The 2019 season began with a bang for Ashland University's volleyball team on Friday (Sept. 6), as the Eagles won their first two matches in their own Invitational – 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-13) vs. Notre Dame College and 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-23) against California (Pa.).
In the season opener against NDC, Ashland's offense improved as the match progressed, with the Eagles boasting a .295 hitting percentage in the three game wins against a .154 percentage in the one game lost.
Four Eagles recorded double-digit kills vs. the Falcons – junior outside hitter Brooke Peiffer (19), senior middle hitter/outside hitter Sophi Cudworth (15), junior middle hitter Lexi Lombardo (15) and sophomore outside hitter Erin Krupar (12). Sophomore setter Zoey Peck racked up 55 assists, while junior libero McKinley Smith paced four Eagles in double-digit digs with 24.
Ashland played a tightly-contested match with the Vulcans to end Friday's action. The Eagle offense was paced by Krupar, whose 17 kills led the attack. Peck finished with 39 assists, and Smith had a team-high 17 digs.
Cal was kept to a team hitting percentage of .129 for the match.
The Eagles are 16-0 under head coach Kevin Foeman in three-game matches.
This is the fifth consecutive season Ashland has won both of its opening matches.
In Friday's other Invitational action, Notre Dame topped Felician, 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-17); Cal outlasted Fairmont State, 3-2 (25-19, 23-25, 20-25, 25-22, 15-8); Fairmont State defeated Bloomsburg, 3-0 (29-27, 25-19, 25-23); and Bloomsburg came back for a five-set win over Felician (25-21, 22-25, 25-22, 18-25, 16-14).
Ashland will play host to Day 2 of the Ashland University Invitational on Saturday (Sept. 7), taking on Fairmont State at 1 p.m. and Bloomsburg at 7 p.m.