Volleyball caps off third straight unbeaten conference season

Claire Dennis attacks at the net

ANDERSON, Ind. – Junior Claire Dennis (Bloomington, Ind.) tied a season high with 11 kills and the Hanover volleyball team enjoyed its second best hitting percentage of the season in a 3-0 victory at Anderson Saturday afternoon.

The Panthers (24-5, 9-0 HCAC) hit over .300 in all three sets, including a .611 second frame, en route to a 25-16, 25-6, 25-14 victory. Hanover has won 13 consecutive matches, while the conference win gives them 27 straight, which spans the past three seasons.

Dennis had arguably her best all-around performance this fall, as she hit .786 in her team high kill effort. The junior added a team high five blocks and two service aces, while also pitching in with five digs.

Seniors Kristin Goben (Finchville, Ky.) and Emily Ertel (North Vernon, Ind.) added eight and seven kills respectively. Goben also hit .462, while adding four blocks defensively.

In the back row, senior Monique Huynh (Indianapolis, Ind.) and sophomore Ally Williams (Fountaintown, Ind.) combined for 27 of HC's 48 digs. Huynh posted a team high 18 digs.

Junior Abby Crump (Indianapolis, Ind.) recorded 16 assists in the win, while classmate Haley Alexander (Martinsville, Ind.) registered 14 helpers. The tandem combined for 83.3 percent of Hanover's assist total Saturday.

The Panthers led by three points late in the first set, 19-16, before rattling off six straight points to secure a 25-16 victory. Senior Courtney Crawford (Louisville, Ky.) and junior Margo Main (Ann Arbor, Mich.) each had two kills during the set-closing run.

Hanover scored nine of the first 10 points in the next frame to take a commanding lead early. Anderson (10-20, 1-8 HCAC) stayed within nine points, before the Blue and Red rattled off another long run to cap the set, as this time a 10-0 run gave HC a 25-6 decision. The second frame versus the Ravens marked just the second time this season HC held its opponent to single digits in a set.

Hanover never trailed in the third game, as the 6-4 lead would be as close as the Ravens would get in the set, with the Blue and Red securing the match at 25-14.

Overall, the Panthers hit .398, while holding the Ravens to a minus .032 hitting clip. Hanover also enjoyed a 7-1 edge in total blocks.

The Blue and Red finished unbeaten in HCAC play for the third straight year, and will host the HCAC Tournament Semifinals and Championship next weekend, Nov. 4 and 5. Hanover's semifinal opponent is yet to be determined, but the contest will start at 2 p.m. next Saturday, inside Collier Arena.

Contact: Tyler Jester