Sterling, Cole Lead Eagles to Eighth Straight Win
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Asbury (24-7) put an end to Kentucky State University’s (18-8) eight-game winning streak and extended their own to eight games by closing out three close sets in a row Wednesday night on the road. The Eagles swept their host by a scores of 26-24, 25-23, and 25-17.
In the first set, the Eagles held a steady lead until the Thorobreds went on a 6-0 run to tie the game at 24. But junior Sarah Sterling and senior Mackenzie Burke put an end to the Thorobred’s chances of a win, each getting a kill and giving the Eagles the 26-24 victory.
The next set went much like the same, with the Eagles holding onto an early lead until the Thorobreds tied the game at 16 points. From there, it was a back-and-forth battle until the set was tied again with each team just two points shy of a win at 23 points. But Sterling struck again, getting a kill for Asbury’s 24th point. It was junior Alyssa Downs who scored next, getting a kill and sealing the win for Asbury’s second time in the night.
In the final set, neither team had a strong lead until Asbury came from behind after facing a deficit of 13-16 to go on an 11-0 run. With the score now heavily in Asbury’s favor and the serve on the KSU side, freshman Rachel Boesing and junior Cat Starr put up a block, dropping the ball on the Thorobred’s side of the court and giving Asbury the 3-0 victory.
"This was a total team effort," Coach JP Rader said. "At crucial moments, particularly in the first and second sets, we pulled together to score critical points. Our serve was also very effective tonight as Jessie Bartlow and Kelly Cole really put pressure on KSU throughout the match."
Junior Sarah Sterling put up a strong effort in the match, ending the night with a .500 hitting percentage, 15 kills, and three blocks. Senior Allison Rehner wasn’t far behind Sterling with 8 kills and one block in the win.
Senior Mackenzie Burke had the team-high in assists with 23, while junior Jessie Bartlow gained 12 assists and three aces. Seniors Kelly Cole and Cari McMullen put a stop to the Thorobred’s defense with 13 and 6 digs, respectively.
The Eagles are now on an eight-game winning steak of their own and will look for their 25th win, again on the road against conference opponent Carlow University on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.