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HU volleyball sweeps WPU in season opener

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. –The Forester volleyball team opened up the season with an impressive 3-0 sweep over William Penn University (IA) Friday night at Platt Arena. It marks the first time since 2011 that Huntington has won its first match of the year.

HU Head Coach Kyle Shondell, in his second season with the Foresters, was pleased with his team’s performance.

"We were as crisp and together as you could ask a team to be on night one of a new season."

The evening belonged to him and his crew as they made quick work of their visitors.

After giving up the opening point in set one, the Foresters were quick to turn things around by rattling off four straight points on their way to pulling away for a 25-15 win. Set two came even easier as the hosts dominated the Statesmen 25-8.

It was a slow start for HU in set three as they played catch up early on before their 6-0 run turned a two-point deficit into a 15-11 advantage that ended in a 25-18 decision.

Huntington enjoyed a balanced attack with Josie Beaver topping the list with eight kills. Audrey Mallers finished with seven while Danielle Gurwell and Ashli Drewes added five apiece at the middle spot. The offense was orchestrated by Emily Hubby and Breanna Levings who split setting duties by doling out 17 and 12 assists respectively.

"Offensively, both setters moved the ball around so well it took a lot of stress off our hitters and they capitalized,” noted Shondell.

Defense was also a collaborative effort as Mallers (14) and Kate Cobb (11) finished with double digit digs while Mikayla Carpenter, a junior transfer, collected eight and Hubby logged seven. At the net, HU out-blocked WPU 7-6 behind Gurwell’s 2.5 blocks.

The Foresters (1-0) are back in action tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. to face Roosevelt University (IL).

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 254 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.