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HU volleyball splits at UNOH Tri-Match despite adversity

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LIMA, Ohio - Despite playing behind the eight ball most of the afternoon, the HU volleyball team still came away with a 3-0 decision over Keiser University (FL) before dropping a five-setter to UNOH immediately following.

The win over Keiser was Huntington’s third sweep of season. The Foresters made the trip to the UNOH Tri-Match down three players and within a few minutes of taking the court against the Seahawks, HU lost two more but played inspired volleyball to breeze past the Seahawks, 25-17, 25-19, 25-14.

It was an impressive offensive outing with Danielle Gurwell and Brandy Michie posting 13 and 11 kills respectively. As a team, the Foresters finished with 43 kills, ten more than KU, and a .298 hitting percentage which included making only 12 attacking errors.

The other part of HU’s game was equally striking as they committed just two service errors while logging eight aces. They also out-blocked the Seahawks six to three.

The Foresters showed no signs of letting up as they had a short break before taking on the Racers and quickly established a 2-0 lead but in a flash, everything changed.

The third set started out tight and with things knotted up at 8-8, UNOH reeled off six straight points to steal the momentum for what proved a permanent shift as they went on to win the set as well as the next two for a stunning comeback, 19-25, 20-25, 25-14, 25-16, 15-7.

Gurwell again came up big for the Foresters offensively to finish with 11 kills. Josie added nine and was a human wall defensively by registering 5.5 of her team’s 12 blocks.

Kate Cobb took charge of the back row to finish with 41 digs on the day. As HU’s only setter, Emily Hubby ran the offense to finish with 59 assists over the course of both matches.

The day was not one Coach Shondell could have predicted but the skipper was impressed with how his team responded to the adversity and their ability to adjust. “Emily took full advantage of her unusual situation and handled herself admirably.

“Danielle, battling her own health issues, was really strong today. When you find yourself in tough situations, you need someone to carry you through and she did that.”

Shondell also liked how his young players stepped up. “With our injuries, we were forced to put four freshmen on the floor at a time most of the day.”

Collectively, the rookie crew accounted for 38 kills, 44 digs, five blocks and nine aces. 

“At the end of the day, being without so many traditional contributors, we showed an unbelievable amount of fight today,” said Shondell.

HU’s records stands at 4-2. Next up is a home match against Goshen on August 30.  

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.