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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

AU volleyball topples Cedarville, 3-2, in nail-biting victory

The Eagles improved its season record to 18-7 and 11-2 in conference play
Ben Nichols
The Ashland University Eagle volleyball team stands at center court for the national anthem against the Yellow Jackets.

The Ashland University volleyball team celebrated a victory, both on the court and off the court.

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, the Eagles hosted the Kappa Sigma fraternity for a teddy bear toss that saw proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House, while the team also took home a 3-2 win over the Cedarville Yellow Jackets. With plenty of things to celebrate, the Eagles look to the final six games of the 2023-24 Great Midwest Athletic Conference regular season.

To open the first set of play, the Eagles struggled.

After taking the opening two points of the set, the opposition recorded the next seven, taking a 7-2 lead early on. The Eagles would then fight to stay in the contest as they brought the game back within one, 14-13.

While trailing, the Eagles showed very little signs of going away as they tried to keep the set close. However, the Yellow Jackets went on to record 11 points compared to the Eagles’ six, ultimately pulling away with a 25-19 win.

Throughout the first set, the Yellow Jackets possessed a dominating offensive unit, as they recorded 16 total kills compared to just eight for the Eagles.

In hopes of rebounding in the second set, the Eagles opened up things quickly as they took a clean 5-1 lead off the hot hand of freshman Kaylee Urban.

The Eagles then gave up a lot of attacks and points from the Yellow Jackets as the game became tied at 12’s.

The two teams then proceeded to exchange blows over the course of the remainder of the set. The largest lead was established by the Yellow Jackets as they led 24-20, needing just one more point to pull off the victory. The Eagles would not back down and record five-straight points to bring the lead back in the Eagles favor, 25-24.

With either side needing to win by two, the set would go all the way until 30 as the Yellow Jackets narrowly pulled away, 30-28, to take a 2-0 match series lead.

After the opening two sets came to a close, the highly-awaited teddy bear toss commenced, with the grand tally of 112 bears being donated to the Ronald McDonald House.

The collaboration between the Eagle volleyball team and the Kappa Sigma fraternity helped promote the event in hopes of raising as many bears as possible.

The Kappa Sigma brothers and the volleyball players stand together with teddy bears after the Eagles’ 3-2 win. (Retrieved from the AU Volleyball Instagram)

Heading into the third set, the Eagles trailed 2-0 as they looked to win three straight.

Somehow, someway, the Eagles would start the climb up Mount Everest and attempt the match-series comeback.

In the third set, the Eagles and Yellow Jackets went back and forth like they had all day long. As the set came to a close, the Eagles trailed 20-17, before scoring the next six points to give themselves a 23-20 lead. Needing just two points to win, they would lose the following two before winning the final two to win the team’s first set of the day.

Now with a 2-1 series and one set back for the Eagles, they started to possess a much more comfortable look on the court.

As the fourth set was underway, they continued to ramp up the intensity and pulled off yet again another win, this time 25-22.

Heading into the fifth and final set, the Yellow Jackets seemed to be on it’s heels as the Eagles remained comfortable on the team’s home court. To begin, they took the opening point.

The two sides would then exchange blows until they would be tied at 6’s. The Eagles then started to rally as they won the next four point straight, 10-6, with junior Makenna Belcher kicking the run off with a big kill for the Eagles. Through the next seven points, the Eagles would win five of them as the Yellow Jackets won just two, with the Eagles pulling off the reverse sweep, 3-2 series win.

The final point would come at the hand of Urban, as she recorded her fifth service ace of the outing.

The team was led by Urban who recorded 27 assists to go alongside the five service aces, junior Georgi Moody who recorded 19 assists and Belcher who slaughtered the Yellow Jackets with 16 kills and 14 digs.

Defensively, libero Katie Thompson had 25 total digs in the win.

The Eagles improved its season record to 18-7 and 11-2 in conference play as they approach the final six games of the 2023-24 fall regular season.

The Eagles next look to take on the Ohio Dominican Panthers on Saturday, Oct. 28, with kickoff set for 5:00 P.M. at Kates Gymnasium on the campus of Ashland University.

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