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Pilots outlast HU in five-set thriller

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. – In a five-set league thriller, the HU volleyball team finally succumbed to Pilots of Bethel College, 30-28, 18-25, 25-23, 25-17, 15-7, Saturday afternoon at Platt Arena. The Foresters (5-6, 1-3) find themselves in a six-game slump while the Pilots (6-9, 2-2) are riding a two-game win streak after today’s victory.

Huntington was well on their way to a win in set one by jumping in front 20-12 but their lead wouldn’t stick as a gritty Pilot squad mounted an impressive comeback to steal momentum that had clearly favored the hosts.

Shondell’s crew bounced back to take set two and after trading sets for a 2-2 draw, Bethel established a lead that was never relinquished in the rubber match to steal the road win.

HU outplayed BC offensively as four Foresters finished with double digit kills on the way to outhitting their visitors 36-31. Tailor Schultheis recorded a match and career-best 14 kills while Josie Beaver added 13 and Audrey Mallers and Paige Eakright tallied 11 each.

“We brought more resilient energy today than we did last night so that’s an improvement,” noted Shondell. “And we were clearly the better offensive team, but that wasn’t enough. Truthfully, we needed to be even better.”

Emily Hubby and Breanna Levings distributed the ball by dishing out 26 and 24 assists respectively. Danielle Gurwell led her team at the net defensively to claim 3.5 blocks which included two solo shots. As a team, the Foresters registered eight blocks to Bethel’s ten. Kate Cobb took charge of the back court with 24 digs.

Neither team served the ball particularly well as they combined for 23 errors with HU committing one less than their league foes.

Huntington will look to get back on track Wednesday when they host Marian University at 7:00 p.m.

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.