Volleyball drops five-set thriller to DePauw

Blaise Chaney

HANOVER, Ind. –The Hanover volleyball team had five players record seven or more kills, but the Panthers dropped a home non-conference match to DePauw (Ind.) Thursday evening, (20-25), 25-23, (24-26), 25-22, (9-15).

The Panthers fall to 12-12 on the season and are now 0-6 in matches that go five sets. DePauw's win is its ninth in the last 10 outings, as they have now won four straight against Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opponents this fall.

Leading the balanced offensive attack was freshman Kelsey Ketcham (Mishwaka, Ind.), who recorded 15 kills. The freshman also tallied her NCAA Division III-leading eighth triple-double of the season, adding 20 assists and 10 digs over five sets Thursday. Ketcham also pitched in with three assisted blocks defensively.

Sophomore Blaise Chaney (Mason, Ohio) was the only other Panther with double-digit kills, 11, as she hit .320 for the match. Adding eight kills apiece were senior Claire Dennis (Bloomington, Ind.) and freshman Emma Rolf (Lebanon, Ind.), while junior Madie Snyder (Boonville, Ind.) pitched in with seven. Dennis also continued her strong play at the net defensively, tallying nine assisted blocks. Rolf and Snyder combined for five rejections as well.

In the back row, four Panthers totaled double-digit digs, including the aforementioned Ketcham. Leading the team with 24 was junior Ally Williams (Fountaintown, Ind.). Senior Abby Crump (Indianapolis, Ind.) added a career-high 21 digs, while also leading the Blue and Red with 29 assists. Logging 12 digs was sophomore Amber Miller (Louisville, Ky.).

After dropping the opening set, the Panthers responded with a 25-23 decision in frame No. 2. With the set tied at 16-all, HC used a mini, 4-0 scoring spurt to take advantage, 20-16. A block from Dennis and Snyder would eventually close out the game, tying the match at one set apiece.

The Tigers though, took a back-and-forth third set, 26-24. An 8-1 run by HC gave the Blue and Red a 22-19 lead in the game, but three quick points by DePauw forced a Hanover timeout. Out of the break, DU scored four of the final six points in the set.

Another tightly contested set in game four saw HC rally for three of the final four points to win 25-22. Chaney and Rolf logged kills, while Crump picked up the set-clinching service ace.

The decisive set saw the Tigers take an 8-5 lead at the court exchange. Hanover though, pulled within one point, 8-7, thanks to a Chaney kill and DU attacking error. DePauw would never trail though, taking the final game, 15-9.

The Panthers have now concluded the non-conference portion of their schedule and will turn their focus to the final four HCAC matches of the season. Hanover begins the stretch at home, against Rose-Hulman, which is slated a 2 p.m. start, Saturday, Oct. 20.

Contact: Tyler Jester