COLUMBUS, Ohio – Despite having three players tally double figures in kills, Ohio Dominican fell shy in its bid to knock off Ashland as the volleyball team fell 3-1 (26-24, 19-25, 20-25, 20-25) Saturday afternoon at Alumni Hall in GLIAC South Division action.
With the setback, ODU fell to 8-4 (3-4 GLIAC), while the Eagles, who are receiving votes in the latest AVCA Top 25 Poll, improved to 8-3 (6-1 GLIAC).
A wonderfully played first set featured 16 ties and three lead changes as the Panthers came back from facing set point to take a 1-0 lead. The teams alternated scoring throughout the set, with ODU opening a few two-point leads, but neither side was able to mount an extended rally. ODU led 19-17 after a kill from Tara Winner – one of her nine in the set – but the Eagles came back and took their first lead since 2-1 following a Panther attack error to grab a 22-21 lead. AU stayed in front 24-23, but Winner responded with a kill to tie it, and Winner and Kelsey Snyder combined on a block to put ODU in front 25-24. Emily Post then closed the set with an ace to put ODU on top in the match.
AU bounced back quickly with three aces to start set two and led 6-1 and 8-2 early. The Panthers rallied with a spurt to cut the deficit to 10-9 following a kill from Rachel Billing and a block by Billing and Post, but AU quickly answered with a 6-2 surge of its own to take a 16-11 lead. The Panthers would draw no closer than four points the rest of the set.
The third set was nip and tuck to begin, with four ties and three lead changes early. ODU led 10-9 after a block by Snyder and Post, but Ashland came back with an 8-3 run to grab an 18-12 lead and grab control of the set.
The fourth set was also tightly contested, as it was tied nine times in the first half. Knotted at 14, AU notched four of the next five points to take an 18-15 lead. Snyder's kill made it 18-16, but that would be as close as the Panthers could get for the remainder of the set.
Billing had a match-high 16 kills, along with eight digs and three blocks. Bailey Barker had career-high 15 kills, hitting .406 for the match, and Winner finished with 11 kills. Snyder had her second-straight 40 assist output, and Stacy Rogg led all players with 20 digs.
The Panthers return to action at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a non-conference match at West Liberty (W. Va.) State.
Contact: Scott Miles