Wayne State volleyball saw its two-game winning streak end with a four-set loss to the Ashland University Eagles (23–25, 16–25, 25–14, 16–25) at the Matthaei on Sept. 11.
After falling behind early in the first set, the Warriors scored five straight points to take an 8–4 lead. WSU would maintain the lead for most of the set, before the Eagles came back to tie the match at 18. After a kill by senior captain Hailey Richardson leveled the score at 23, two WSU errors allowed Ashland to win the first set, 25–23.
In the second set, the Warriors took a 7–4 lead before the Eagles outscored WSU 11–4 to go up 15–10. After WSU closed the deficit to 15–12, Ashland used a 13–4 run to post their second set win of the match.
In the third set, the Warriors used an 11–2 run to take a 15–6 advantage. WSU would maintain a sizeable lead for most of the set, and a kill by Richardson gave WSU a 25–14 third set win.
After a kill by sophomore Olivia Fike tied the fourth set at 4, the Eagles outscored the Warriors 7–1 to take an 11–5 lead. Despite WSU closing the deficit to 13–10, Ashland scored four straight points to pull away with the match victory.
After the match, WSU head coach Tim Koth said that Ashland’s defense played a big factor in the game.
“They brought a lot of balls back at us than an average opponent wouldn’t necessarily have and (they) made us have to work harder in order to earn points,” Koth said.
The Warriors were led on offense by Richardson, who had 18 kills and 17 digs for the match, as she posted her sixth consecutive double-double.
The loss dropped WSU’s record to 7–4 on the season and 2–1 in the GLIAC. WSU continues its home stand on Sept. 14 versus Lake Superior State, with the match slated to begin at 7 p.m.
Despite the Lakers 1–10 record, Koth said the Warriors will need to be ready to play in their next game.
“We’re one of the favorites so (teams) are going to come in with a little extra competitive energy when they play us, and if you don’t bring your 'A' game, the league is balanced enough that teams can be successful against you,” Koth said.
Koth said that he hopes the team returns to form against LSSU this weekend.
“I want to see us play (from) start to finish the brand of volleyball that we trained and worked to do,” Koth said. “We only saw glimpses of that tonight (and) part of that was (a) credit to our opponent and part of it was us and how we went through this match, so I’m looking for us to be prepared to play, prepare to compete (and) compete to execute.”
Matt Williams is sports editor of The South End. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover photo courtesy of WSU Athletics.