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Lancers top HU, Teal Out raises over $2,000

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. – In a critical Crossroads League matchup, the Forester volleyball team came up short 3-1, 26-24, 23-25, 25-21, 25-11, against the Grace College Lancers Friday night at Platt Arena.

Heading into the match, both team shared identical league records so the loss drops the Foresters (13-17) into a tie for sixth in the standings with a 7-10 record while the Lancers (14-17) improve to 8-9 for the No. 5 spot in the conference.

The win completes Grace’s sweep over the Foresters this season with their first win, a 3-2 decision, over HU coming back on September 23.

While the outcome wasn’t what Huntington had hoped for, the Foresters still had plenty to celebrate.

In addition to recognizing their lone senior Audrey Mallers, HU also sponsored a Teal Out in honor of freshman Paige Eakright who was diagnosed with cervical and uterine cancer earlier this fall. The Teal Out raised over $2,000 for the Eakright family.

“I thought our atmosphere was terrific,” said Coach Kyle Shondell. “I loved the outpouring of support from the Forester community.”

Things looked promising for the Foresters as they held onto the lead late into set one which included enjoying a 21-15 advantage, before the wheels came off. The managed just three more points in the set to which the Lancers took full advantage to knot things up at 23-23 on their way to closing out the match on a 3-1 run for the win.

On that first set, Shondell summed it up this way. “If you let a team stay around or keep the door open for them, eventually they'll come inside and lock you out.”

HU bounced back to capture set two, trailing just once early on, for the 1-1 deadlock but it was all Lancers after that as they slipped past their hosts in set three before running away with set four.

“We've struggled with consistency all year,” said Shondell. “It takes a tough team to be able to close out an opponent in our league and we haven't figured that out yet.”

Mallers and Haley Longley each finished with seven kills to pace HU offensively. Mallers also logged 12 digs in her last match in Platt Arena.

Josie Beaver tallied six kills and 2.5 blocks. Danielle Gurwell and Eakright also chipped in six kills apiece. Breanna Levings and Emily Hubby split setting duties to dish out 17 and 16 assists respectively.

Kate Cobb collected 34 digs to bring her career total to 1,730. She currently ranks second all-time on HU’s dig list.

The Foresters wrap up the regular season at #15 Indiana Wesleyan University tomorrow for a 3:00 p.m. matchup with the Wildcats.

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.