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HU drops 5-set thriller to #RV Missouri Valley, bounces back to sweep Brescia

Home / News / HU drops 5-set thriller to #RV Missouri Valley, bounces back to sweep Brescia

Huntington, Ind. - The opening match on day two of the Forester Invitational did not disappoint as the HU volleyball team went toe to toe with #RV Missouri Valley College in a five-set thriller that favored the Vikings, 20-25, 25-18, 25-16, 21-25, 15-8.

“We knew we’d have to be at the top of our game to compete in this match, and at moments, that’s exactly how we played,” said Coach Shondell.

Set one set the tone for the entire match as both teams jockeyed for the upper hand with the Foresters closing out with a 7-2 rally to enjoy the set’s largest gap of five by game’s end. MVC returned the favor the next two sets before HU came on late again in set four.

It was another 7-2 run but this time it came a little earlier in the set for a 21-15 advantage that the Foresters were able to ride out for the W to send the game to the decisive fifth set where the Vikings eventually pulled away for the victory.

Tailor Schultheis topped the Foresters with 12 kills. Hailey Longley put down nine while Josie Beaver and Danielle Gurwell added eight kills apiece. Emily Hubby and Breanna Levings collected 20 and 19 assists respectively.

Defensively, Beaver registered 4.5 blocks which included two solos. As a team, HU finished with 11 to WVC’s nine. Kate Cobb led the charge in the back row by posting a game-best 26 digs.

“Kate and Josie's ability to stay poised and consistent was a huge part of why we were able to be as close as we were to winning the match,” noted Shondell.

“Missouri Valley is a complete team and challenged us at about every position, but I was proud of how we responded.”

A few hours later, the Foresters bounced back against Brescia to wrap up the weekend by blanking the Bearcats, 25-14, 25-20, 25-17, to improve to 3-1 on the year. Huntington never trailed in sets one and three but set two was a different story. Shondell’s crew was on the wrong end of a 10-4 tilt but just like the day before, showed an undeniable resilience.  

After scratching and clawing their way to a 16-16 deadlock, HU gave up just four points the rest of the way to secure the come from behind win and seize momentum to breeze through the third set.

“It’s never easy coming off a five-set match regardless of its outcome, but to come out as hot as we did was really impressive,” said Shondell.

Gurwell claimed game-high honors in kills with 11. Brandy Michie tallied eight; Beaver added six while two other Foresters logged at least four kills to make for a well-balanced Forester attack that outhit their visitors 38-25.

Also key to HU’s success was limiting service errors to just one while BU committed six. Huntington also out-blocked Brescia 7.5 to 6 with Longley collecting three and Beaver and Lauren Cresses tallying 1.5 each.

Cobb registered 19 digs to finish second only to WPU’s Ashley Miller in total digs for the weekend with 83.

“We saw breakout performances from a lot of people,” Shondell said. “Our freshmen were fantastic and played with great confidence.

“I really like where we're at right now. If we keep improving our level of play, Tuesday should be a fun day.”

Huntington is back in action on Tuesday for a tri-match at UNOH.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 274 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.