Volleyball cruises to three-set victory at Spalding

Abby Crump

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A balanced effort led by senior Claire Dennis' (Bloomington, Ind.) nine kills and nine total blocks engineered the Hanover volleyball team to a 3-0 road win at Spalding (Ky.) Monday evening, 25-16, 25-17, 25-23.

The Panthers (9-10) completed the season sweep of the Golden Eagles (1-18) after earning a 3-0 home decision earlier this fall. Hanover's win Monday also snapped a brief two-game losing skid.

Dennis led the Panther offense in kills, with junior Carlie Burson (New Salisbury, Ind.) and freshman Kelsey Ketcham (Mishawaka, Ind.) each adding eight apiece. Ketcham nearly hit .400 for the match, as the Blue and Red recorded a team hitting percentage of .296 over three sets.

Hanover also tallied 11 blocks in the match, led by the senior's nine assisted rejections. Five additional Panther players were in on multiple rejections, including Burson and sophomore Emily Diehr (Greenfield, Ind.), who each had three.

In the back row, sophomore Amber Miller (Louisville, Ky.) had a team-high 11 digs, while junior Ally Williams (Fountaintown, Ind.) pitched in with 10. Sophomore Brynn Durecki (Winona Lake, Ind.) added nine digs as well.

Ketcham and senior Abby Crump (Indianapolis, Ind.) combined for 33 of Hanover's 39 assists in the match. Crump would pace the Panthers with 20 helpers.

The Blue and Red hit over .300 in each of the first two sets, including a match-high .357 in frame No. 1. With the opening set tied at seven-all, HC used an 11-2 scoring spurt to take control at 18-9. Six points would be as close as the Golden Eagles would get from that point on and a kill from junior Madie Snyder (Boonville, Ind.) concluded the set at 25-16.

Hanover trailed just once in the second set, 2-1, and a 10-2 run, highlighted by multiple kills from Dennis and Snyder, but the Panthers in front 11-4. Spalding would rally to pull within one point, but HC finished the frame with 12 of the final 17 points to earn a 25-17 decision.

The third and final set was tightly contested throughout, as the frame was played within a seven-point window. Hanover trailed early on but six consecutive points, capped with a block by Dennis and freshman Emma Rolf (Lebanon, Ind.), gave the Blue and Red a 19-16 advantage. A Ketchman kill gave HC its largest lead of the set at 23-19, and another kill by the freshman secured the set, 25-23, and the match, 3-0.

The Panthers will return to conference action for their next contest, as the team travels to face Mt. St. Joseph at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Contact: Tyler Jester