HANOVER, Ind. – For the first time in the program's history, the Hanover volleyball team has won its first eight matches of a season, as they knocked off Saint Mary-of-the-Woods (Ind.) and Ohio Wesleyan, at home, Saturday afternoon.
Dating back to the 2014 season, the Panthers (8-0) have won 10 consecutive matches in the Hanover Invitational. The Blue and Red have also won their first four home matches of the 2017 season.
Three Panthers logged double-digit kill efforts in single matches Saturday, with seniors Courtney Crawford (Louisville, Ky.) and Emily Ertel (North Vernon, Ind.)each doing so in the second half of the doubleheader against Ohio Wesleyan (4-3). Senior Kristin Goben (Finchville, Ky.) added 10 kills in the opener versus SMWC (3-2).
Senior Monique Huynh (Indianapolis, Ind.) posted 30 digs over the two matches to lead the squad, including a team high 20 against SMWC. Junior Haley Alexander (Martinsville, Ind.) added 20-plus assists in each match, totaling 46 on the day.
In the opener Saturday, Hanover had a trio of players log four kills in the first set. Crawford, Goben and sophomore Madie Snyder (Boonville, Ind.) combined for 12 of HC's 19 kills in the set, as the team hit .472 in the opening frame.
After winning the first set 25-19, Hanover trailed early on in the second frame, before a 6-0 run gave them a 10-7 advantage. The Panthers never trailed in the remainder of the frame and a pair of service aces from freshman Amber Miller (Louisville, Ky.)secured the set for HC, 25-15.
The final set was tied at 10-all until the Panthers scored 10 if the next 15 points to jump in front by five points, 20-15. Each side recorded five points over the final 10 rallies, giving HC a 25-20 victory.
In the nightcap, Hanover cruised to a first set victory, 25-17. With the set tied at 10-all, the Blue and Red used a 10-2 run to build a comfortable advantage. During scoring run, junior Claire Dennis (Bloomington, Ind.) was a part of three consecutive blocks for HC.
The Battling Bishops controlled most of the second set, never trailing to take it 25-11.
Hanover and OWU went back-and-forth in the seesaw third frame, but the Panthers took five of the final seven points to win 25-23, and take a 2-1 series edge. After an OWU attacking error, making score 24-22, the Bishops' head coach was assessed a red card, resulting in the 25th point for HC.
After scoring the first three points of the fourth set, the Blue and Red never trailed, taking the set and the match with a 25-22 decision. Hanover led by as many as six points after a kill from freshman Emily Diehr (Greenfield, Ind.) made it 15-9 in favor of HC. Diehr also had the game-winning kill off a pass from Alexander.
Crawford and junior Margo Main (Ann Arbor, Mich.) were named to the All-Tournament team for their performances this past weekend.
The Panthers will look to stay unbeaten at home and overall when they welcome Thomas More (Ky.) for a 7 p.m. first serve Wednesday, Sept. 13.