HANOVER, Ind. – Behind a balanced offensive attack, the Hanover volleyball team won its fourth straight match, defeating Spalding (Ky.) at home Tuesday evening, 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-7).
After dropping their season opener in five sets to Otterbein (Ohio), the Panthers have won four consecutive appearances to improve to 4-1 on the season. With the loss, Spalding falls to 1-2 in 2018 and has now dropped six straight against the Blue and Red.
Hanover, who won its fifth consecutive home opener Tuesday night, had five players record eight or more kills in the victory. Leading the way were junior Madie Snyder (Boonville, Ind.) and freshman Kelsey Ketcham (Mishawaka, Ind.) with 10 apiece. Freshman Maddie Edwards (Jasper, Ind.) added nine kills, while senior Claire Dennis (Bloomington, Ind.) and sophomore Blaise Chaney (Mason, Ohio) pitched in with eight apiece.
Ketcham was also one of three Hanover players to record double-digit assists, tying senior Abby Crump (Indianapolis, Ind.) for the team high with 15. Junior Ally Williams (Fountaintown, Ind.), who paced the Panthers with 28 digs, added 10 helpers as well.
Assisting Williams in the backline of the defense were Ketcham and sophomore Amber Miller (Louisville, Ky.). The duo tallied nine and 10 digs, respectively, as Ketcham fell one dig shy of her fourth statistical triple-double of the season. At the net, Dennis led the team with three total blocks, including HC's lone solo rejection.
As a unit, Hanover logged its best hitting percentage of the young season, .264, tallying 48 kills on 125 attempts, with 15 errors. The Panthers were also able to hold Spalding to a .000 hitting percentage, including a negative mark in the final two sets. Hanover has now conceded less than a .100 hitting percentage in three-of-five matches.
In a swiftly played contest, HC found itself in trouble early, falling behind 9-5 in the opening set. Hanover did rally for its first tie since 1-1, as a kill from Ketcham made it 11-all. After trading a few points, the Panthers eventually pulled away, scoring 10 of the final 15 set points in 25-20 decision.
The Blue and Red fell behind early again in the second set, but a 9-2 scoring spurt, engineered by Edwards, put them up six points, 18-12. The Golden Eagles would never pull closer than five in the set, as HC won 25-15.
Hanover then never trailed in the third frame, scoring the first four points, three of which came on kills by three different Panthers. The lead continued to balloon during the final frame, as HC held its first opponent of the season to a single-digit set score in a 25-7 tally.
The Blue and Red will stay at home when they host the Hanover Invitational this Saturday, Sept. 8. Hanover is slated for tournament play at noon and 4 p.m., against Berea (Ky.) and Centre (Ky.), respectively.
Contact: Tyler Jester