Eagles Fall in Championship Match
RICHMOND, Ind. – For the fifth straight year the Asbury volleyball reached the KIAC Tournament Championship and for the fourth straight year was met by Indiana East. Unfortunately for the Eagles the outcome would be the same as the last three, a win by IUE, this time 3-0 in three tightly contested sets.
Asbury (38-7) would battle back from deficits in each of the first two sets and hold set-points in each, but would be unable to close either of them out. The Red Wolves would take the first 28-26 and the second 27-25. They would go on to take the third and their third straight title 25-19.
In the first set Asbury would trail 16-11 before rallying to tie it at 20-20 before hold set points at 24-23, 25-24 and 26-25. IUE (37-8) would take the final three points. In the second the Eagles again would fight back, this time from a 21-14 hole. They would take seven straight points and 10 of 11 to hold a 24-22 lead but the Red Wolves would answer by winning five of the final six points.
Allison Rehner would lead the team with 12 kills in the match, hitting .370 for the match. The Eagles hit only .208 in the match after hitting .318 in the first set. Sarah Sterling would add 11 kills and 11 digs. Lindsay Ibold would also reach double-figures with 10 kills. IUE would be led by Caitlin Burroughs and Brianna Strete who combined for 31 kills. The Red Wolves would hit .295 for the match.
Asbury would dig 69 balls on the night, highlighted by Kelly Coles 16. Cari McMullen would be the third Eagle in double-digits with 10 digs on the night. The Red Wolves would dig 75 balls led by Kristin Waechter’s 15. Mackenzie Burke would add 28 assists and Jessie Bartlow tallied 16.
To get tot the championship the Eagles swept Indiana Southeast (25-19, 25-18, 25-8) in the first semi-final. Asbury beat the Grenadiers in all three matches this season and six straight overall dating back to the 2009 KIAC Tournament.
Dena Busse would lead the Eagles with 12 kills in the match as Asbury tallied 42 in the match and hit .276 overall. Sarah Sterling would add nine kills and a team-high 14 digs. Kelly Cole would add 12 more as the team dug up 54 balls. Mackenzie Burke tallied 18 assists and Jessie Bartlow added 14 more. Burke would also record three aces including the match-ending point.
After taking a 1-0 match lead after a tightly-battled first set, the Grenadiers would take an 11-6 lead in the second. The Eagles will take the next six points to hold a 12-11 lead and would never trail the rest of the set, out-scoring the Grenadiers 38-15 the rest of the way.
The Eagles will turn their attention to the NCCAA Mid-East Regional tournament to be held in Oakland City, Ind. this coming weekend. More details will be released as they become available.