CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – The Hanover volleyball team's road upset bid over nationally-ranked Thomas More (Ky.) fell short Wednesday evening, as the Panthers dropped the three-set match, 25-15, 26-24, 25-18.
The Panthers drop to 5-3 on the young season, as Wednesday's contest marked the team's first loss that did not go five sets. Thomas More, who is currently No. 14 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) national poll, stayed unbeaten in 2018, improving to 9-0.
Freshman Kelsey Ketcham (Mishawaka, Ind.), who entered Wednesday's contest as the nation's leader in statistical triple-doubles, nearly added to her season total of four, logging a team high nine kills to go along with nine assists and eight digs. Sophomore Blaise Chaney (Mason, Ohio) added six kills and one solo block.
Leading the back row was junior Ally Williams (Fountaintown, Ind.), who recorded 13 digs. Senior Claire Dennis (Bloomington, Ind.) added 10 digs, while classmate Abby Crump (Indianapolis, Ind.) pitched in with eight. Crump also paced the Panthers with 16 assists.
For the match, the Saints outhit HC .192-.098. Thomas More also held an 8-1 advantage in service aces and an 8-3 edge in total team blocks.
The Saints nearly hit .300 in the opening set but a kill from Dennis had the frame tied early, 7-7. Following the Panther point though, TMC rattled off nine straight points, igniting the 25-15 opening-set victory.
Hanover seemed to have bounced back from the early match setback, as they controlled most of the second set, a game that saw them up 18-13 at one point. Thomas More though, responded with another run, tying the set at 19-all.
Four straight points from HC gave them a 23-19 edge, as the run was highlighted by kills from Maddie Edwards (Jasper, Ind.) and Emily Diehr (Greenfield, Ind.). The Panthers looked to be on the verge of tying the match at 1-1, as they led the second set 24-23, but the Saints rallied for the final three points to earn a 26-24 decision.
The Blue and Red led early in the third set, 3-1, but Thomas More eventually took command of the frame with 6-2 run putting them up 18-14. Hanover would pull within three twice but TMC scored the final four points of the set to secure the match.
The Panthers will look to bounce back from their recent losing skid as they travel to Ohio Wesleyan this weekend for three matches at the Bishop Invitational. Hanover opens tournament play at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 14, against the host, Ohio Wesleyan.
Contact: Tyler Jester