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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

Eagles start GMAC strong, look to stellar play of Belcher and Thompson

The volleyball team sits 10-4 now on the season
Ashland Athletics
Eagle volleyball team sits with just one loss in conference play in the 2023-24 season.

The Ashland University volleyball team has been on a tear since beginning Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) play in the 2023-24 campaign.

While the Eagles struggled in non-conference play, specifically against a solid Gannon Golden Knight side, they have rebounded well in hopes of pursuing a conference title.

“Gannon is a very good team, we cannot take that away from them. One thing that we needed to work on was executing a game plan, and I felt that we weren’t focused enough to execute,” said Head Coach Katie Kuhn.

The Eagles started conference play off to a hot start, defeating the Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers and the Trevecca Nazarene Trojans.

The Eagles returned to Kates Gymnasium to face the Tiffin Dragons who received votes in the AVCA top 25 poll, where the Eagles lost in a five-set heartbreaker, cementing themselves as a team to consider on the national stage.

The Eagles now are on two game winning streak, defeating Tiffin and Ohio Dominican this past week.

The Eagles are led statistically by the duo of Makenna Belcher and Katie Thompson. Belcher Leads the team in kills with 199 on the season and is second in sigs. Katie Thompson leads the GMAC in digs on the season. Belcher has also received two GMAC Player of the Week awards. Katie Thompson and Bailey Ruth have also received a GMAC POTW each.

When asked about these two players, Kuhn had high praise.

“Belcher draws a lot of attention, and deservedly so, we need to be able to make sure that we can utilize that as a team,” she said. “Bailey is an incredible asset for us in the middle, not just offensively, but we’ve an emphasis on her defense.”

The Eagles, who are now 10-4 and 4-1 in conference look to continue their GMAC South Division Dominance, where they hit the road to take on Thomas Moore and Cedarville University this weekend.

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