Ertel's offensive effort leads volleyball to a pair of wins on opening night

Emily Ertel about to hit ball

BLUFFTON, Ohio – Senior Emily Ertel (North Vernon, Ind.) led the team in kills in both matches on opening night, as the Hanover women's volleyball team defeated Heidelberg (Ohio) and Kalamazoo (Mich.) Friday evening, at the Sommer Spiketacular.

Ertel's big offensive night started with 13 kills, as she hit .333 in Hanover's four-set victory over Heidelberg. The senior then added six kills to lead a balanced effort in the three-set sweep of Kalamazoo.

The Panthers and Heidelberg split a pair of 25-23 sets to open the night, but HC rallied for 25-16 and 25-20 victories after dropping the second frame.

A pair of juniors in Abby Crump (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Haley Alexander (Martinsville, Ind.) each posted over 20 assists. Crump posted 21 helpers while also converting on four of her five attacks. Alexander logged a team high 22 assists, and added two service aces in both halves of the doubleheader.

Senior Monique Huynh (Indianapolis, Ind.) paced the Panthers defensively, posting 26 digs in the opener. Huynh also added a team high 14 digs in the contest against Kalamazoo. Classmate Courtney Crawford (Louisville, Ky.) assisted the defense up front, logging four of her six blocks on the night against Heidelberg.

Recording 11 kills was senior Kristin Goben (Finchville, Ky.), as she also added 10 digs in the opening match of the season. Goben later went on to post five kills and two blocks against Kalamazoo.

The Panthers and Yellow Jackets met in the second match of the night, with Hanover winning in three sets, 25-20, 25-17 and 25-18. Hanover posted a balanced offensive attack, which featured six players with at least three kills, as 13 of the 16 athletes on the roster appeared in the match.

Ertel's six kills led the way, with Goben and junior Margo Main (West Lafayette, Ind.) recording five kills apiece. Main also added eight kills in the opener.

Crump led the way in assists, posting 19 helpers, while Alexander added 11.

Hanover is 2-0 for the first time since the 2015 season, while the unblemished record tonight is the first time the program has won multiple games on opening day since 2013. Dating back to last season, the Blue and Red have also won 16 consecutive regular season matches.

The Panthers will look to stay unbeaten Saturday, Sept. 2, when they cap the Sommer Spiketacular, at Bluffton (Ohio), with two more neutral site matches. Hanover opens play against Adrian (Mich.) at 2 p.m. before finishing the tournament with a 4 p.m. match versus Wheaton (Ill.).

Contact: Tyler Jester