Ketcham tallies career-high 20 kills at SMWC

Kelsey Ketcham

SAINT MARY-OF-THE-WOODS, Ind. – Freshman Kelsey Ketcham (Mishawaka, Ind.) posted a career-high 20 kills but Hanover volleyball fell in five sets at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods by a count of (22-25), 25-21, (21-25), 25-22, (8-15).

The Panthers (8-10) dropped their fifth five-set decision of the season Thursday and their second in as many nights. The Pomeroys, who have finished as national runner ups in each of the last three seasons in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), improve to 9-12 overall.

Ketcham used eight kills in the second set to help secure her new career-high single match total. The freshman also added 17 assists and nine digs, falling one dig shy of her sixth triple-double of the season.

Overall, Hanover had 56 kills in the match, as sophomores Blaise Chaney (Mason, Ohio) and Emily Diehr (Greenfield, Ind.) pitched in with nine kills apiece to help lead the offense with Ketcham. Senior Abby Crump (Indianapolis, Ind.) logged a season-best 30 assists as well.

Defensively, junior Ally Williams (Fountaintown, Ind.) notched a season-high 37 digs, giving her 30-plus in two of the last six outings. Senior Claire Dennis (Bloomington, Ind.) added six blocks and five kills for 11 total points.

Hanover held an early five-point advantage in set one but fell victim to a 7-0 scoring spurt to fall behind 11-9. The Pomeroys never surrendered the lead in the remainder of the frame, taking the set, 25-22.

The Panthers got off to another strong start in set two and this time, never relinquished the lead. Despite never trailing, the frame was tightly contested with HC's largest advantage being three points until it took three of the final four rallies for a 25-21 decision.

After dropping another close set in frame three, 25-21, Hanover was able to bounce back with a 25-22 triumph in game four. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods led early, 13-8, but an 11-2 run by Hanover put the Panthers in front, 19-15. A pair of kills from Ketcham, followed by a kill from Diehr capped the scoring spurt. Diehr then added another kill to close the set, forcing a decisive fifth frame.

Just as they did Wednesday evening against Transylvania, the Panthers were on the wrong side of an early scoring run in the fifth set and were unable to recover. This time, with the score tied at four-all, the Pomeroys notched consecutive kills and a service ace to go up three points. Hanover had pulled within two points, 10-8, before conceding the final five rallies to SMWC.

The Panthers will return to action Monday, Oct. 8, when they travel to face Spalding (Ky.) in a 6:30 p.m. match. Hanover and Spalding will be meeting for the second time this season, as HC took the first match at home, 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-7).

Contact: Tyler Jester