Eagles Take Two to Finish Week of Home Games
WILMORE, Ky. - In a home tri-match against West Virginia Tech and University of Rio Grande, Asbury came out the winner in each match, defeating both teams 3-0.
Asbury swept West Virginia Tech (6-16) for the second time this season, not letting the Golden Bears get more than 12 points in any of the sets. Three of the seniors led the team in scoring, with Allison Rehner getting 9 kills, Mackenzie Burke leading in assits with 10, and Kelly Cole defending the court with the game-high 10 digs.
But the next match proved to be a bit tougher.
Asbury got off to a good start in the first set against (6-11) University of Rio Grande by pulling away from an 11-9 lead and going on a 14-3 run. The Eagles finished off the Red Storm, 25-13.
The second set, however, was not as easy. The Eagles kept a two-point lead throughout most of the game, but the Red Storm put the set within reach on an out of bounds call against the Eagles tying the set at 12. Junior Jessie Bartlow set the ball for Rehner, who spiked the ball into open space and pushed the Eagles’ score up and the lead to one.
The Eagles kept scoring, and soon had a 20-17. But the Red Storm kept playing hard, eventually tying the game again at 20 points. Sophomore Morgan Newton jumped for a crucial block, and the ball found open space on the Red Storm’s side to cut the Eagles lead back to just one, 21-20.
Senior Catherine Walter sent a spike to the other team, making the score 22-20. A few back-and-forth type plays from both sides had the Red Storm within reach of a second set win, but Catherine Wolter's kill and a Red Storm attacking error gave the Eagles their 25-21 win.
The Eagles quickly gained a 16-11 lead in the third set, but the Red Storm went on a scoring drive and pushed the score to 21-20, again within reach. Junior Alyssa Downs pounded the ball onto the Red Storm’s side of the gym floor for her second kill of the game to put an end to the surge from the visitor's; the Eagles were now up only 22-20. In response, sophomore Alex Phillips spiked the ball back for the Red Storm, creating yet another one-point-difference score, 22-21. Rio Grande tried to recover a kill from Rehner, but senior Nicole Ogg’s efforts fall short as the ball drops inches in front of their side of the net.
With a 23-22 Asbury lead, a time-out was called by the visitors. When the Eagles stepped on the court again, they take charge and score again, stretching the deficit to two points. The Asbury fans stood up in support, and Rehner again delivered with her eighth kill of the night as the Eagles' finished strong, winning the set 25-23 and the match 3-0.
“We have found a new resolve in pulling out tight sets,” said volleyball coach JP Rader. “This was a good test for us as we head into the next important stretch of conference matches.”
The Eagles will have just 48 hours to get some rest before they take on Martin Methodist at home at 7 p.m. on Oct. 5.