Eagles Swept by Red Wolves
RICHMOND, Ind. – For the first time all season Asbury volleyball dropped a three-set match, falling to conference rival Indiana East 25-20, 25-20, 25-17 on Wednesday evening. The Eagles had won their previous 22 three-set matches this year, and snap a 24-match KIAC win streak and an 18-match win streak overall.
In a battle of the top two teams in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with first place on the line, the Eagles were unable to solidify control of the conference against IUE. As long as Asbury takes care of business against Mountain State and Brescia down the stretch and IUE beats Midway, Berea and Mountain State, the two will share the regular season title. Asbury won the championship outright in 2008 and 2010 and IUE took it in 2009.
On Wednesday night the match looked to mirror their battle just 11 days ago in Wilmore, where both teams trade points early and then one team pulls away at the end of a set. This time, however, the team that pulled away was IUE, scoring five of the last seven points in the first set and using a 7-2 run in the second to bust open a 13-13 tie. In the third set IUE would pull away from a 7-7 by scoring 11 of 14 points to take an 18-10 lead. There would be no comeback on this night for the Eagles.
Asbury (31-5, 12-1 KIAC) hit only .138 in the match, only the eighth time all year they failed to break .200. The Eagles came into the match in the Top-15 in the NAIA in attack percentage. Allison Rehner led the team with seven kills. Lindsay Ibold, Brittney Rader and Dena Busse all added six kills. Ibold would add one solo block and two block assists. Ibold needs only 10 more kills to move into fourth place all-time.
Indiana East (28-6, 11-1 KIAC) would be led by Paige Lay and Brianna Strete with 12 kills each. The Red Wolves hit .295 for the match including a .333 mark in the first set and a .364 average in the third. Strete would add five block assists on the night as IUE racked up 10 on the night.
Kelly Cole would add 19 digs during the match, giving her 1,025 for her career. She sits 71 behind fifth place on the school’s all-time list. Mackenize Burke recorded 15 assists and Jessie Bartlow added 13 for the Eagles.
The Eagles will honor their seniors on Friday as they play host to Mountain State at 7 p.m. during Homecoming. Asbury’s final home match of the season will be Saturday November 5th against Brescia.