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Lourdes tops HU volleyball in non-conference brawl

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. - The HU volleyball team took a break from league play to host Lourdes University on Saturday afternoon and found themselves on the losing end of a 3-0 decision (-26, -18, -22) The Foresters have had a rough go of it as of late as they drop their fourth straight for a 9-12 record on the year.

Huntington held a three-point lead late in the first set but a 5-2 run by Lourdes forced a 23-23 deadlock. The set featured three more ties before the visitors finally edged in front for the win. There were glimpses of greatness for Coach Shondell’s crew in the next two sets, set two at the beginning and set three near the end, but they just couldn’t sustain play either time.

“We did a great job controlling the first set, but not being able to finish it changed the whole match for us,” said Shondell. “The way we finished the third set was inspiring, but we continue to find ourselves in holes like that. For us to win, we can't let that happen.”

Offensive efficiency proved to be the Gray Wolves’ edge as they finished with a .143 hitting percentage to their hosts’ .087. Kristin Murrell logged 17 of her team’s 39 kills while Josie Beaver paced HU with ten kills and a .409 hitting percentage. Brandy Michie added nine kills and Lauren Cresse posted six as the trio accounted for all but 12 of their team’s 37 kills.

“Brandy was a one-woman wrecking crew for the better part of sets one and two,” noted Shondell. “They adjusted defensively and shut her down but we waited too long to adjust appropriately.

“Our middles were a constant offensive threat the entire afternoon, we just couldn't get them the ball enough.”

Jenna Tacosik handled the bulk of Huntington’s setting duties with a game-high 23 assists. Kate Cobb and Mikayla Carpenter finished with double-digit digs with 18 and ten respectively. Beaver also made her presence known defensively with a game-best 3.5 blocks.

The Foresters will look to get back on track Wednesday at Spring Arbor.

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.