Panthers survive five-set thriller at Transy, win 20th straight conference match

Margo Main goes up for attack

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Hanover volleyball team outlasted Transylvania (Ky.) on the road Wednesday, 3-2, winning its 20th straight HCAC regular season match.

After taking the first two sets, 27-25 and 25-19, Hanover (14-5, 2-0 HCAC) appeared to be well on its way to a 2-0 start in conference action in 2017. The Pioneers (10-7, 0-2 HCAC) however, rallied to win set three, 28-26, and lead throughout in the fourth frame, winning 25-18 and forcing a fifth and decisive set.

The Panthers trailed late in the tie-breaker set, 11-7, but five of the next six points fell HC's way, tying the set at 12-all. Junior Margo Main (Ann Arbor, Mich.) then posted two kills while senior Emily Ertel (North Vernon, Ind.) added another, ultimately giving the Blue and Red a 15-13 set and 3-2 match victory.

Main, Ertel and senior Kristin Goben (Finchville, Ky.) had 13 kills apiece to pace the Panthers. Also registering double-digit kills was senior Courtney Crawford (Louisville, Ky.).

Junior Claire Dennis (Bloomington, Ind.) continued her strong defensive play of late, recording 25 digs and a team high, nine blocks. Dennis also added nine kills, while hitting a team high .261.

Overall, Hanover posted a hitting percentage of .148, while the Pioneers were held to a .117 percentage. The Blue and Red also enjoyed a 12-10 advantage in total team blocks.

Senior Monique Huynh (Indianapolis, Ind.) led the team with 32 digs and was perfect on 32 service receptions.

With 29 assists, junior Haley Alexander (Martinsville, Ind.) led the team, while classmate Abby Crump (Indianapolis, Ind.) followed with 28 helpers. The two combined for 57 of the team's 62 assists.

Hanover has now won 20 consecutive HCAC regular season matches, and improves to 3-1 in five-set contests this season. The Blue and Red last lost during conference regular season play in 2014.

The Panthers will return to action this weekend, when they travel to face Manchester at 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 7.

Contact: Tyler Jester