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Slow start dooms HU volleyball at Mount Vernon

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MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - After a slow start to Friday’s match at Mount Vernon, the HU volleyball team left little doubt of their grit and determination before conceding to a 3-1 loss, 25-19, 25-21, 21-25, 26-24.  

There was no denying the frustration of the lopsided set one but HU was quick to regroup and give the Cougars a run for their money in one of the toughest arenas to play in. Since 2015, Mount Vernon has racked up 31 wins against just three losses when playing on their home turf.

“Mount Vernon continues to be the toughest place to play in our league, because they take your best shot and force you to battle,” said Coach Shondell. “Our start was a shell of our true selves and by the time we woke up it was too late.

“But I am beyond proud of the way we responded and fought for this one. We battled more tonight than potentially half of our wins.”

Even with the first set woes, HU still managed to out-block their hosts 11-8 and finish within six kills of MVNU. Josie Beaver was her consistent self, finishing with seven kills and a game-tying 3.5 blocks. Haley Longley also had a solid outing at the net with a team-best nine kills and 1.5 blocks.

“Haley is starting to develop into the player she wants to be,” said Shondell. “The system we played against tonight has some holes and she worked to find them.”

Kate Cobb collected a team-high 22 digs as HU’s mainstay in the backcourt. Mikayla Carpenter added 15 digs while Emily Hubby bested the Foresters in assists with 18.

With this loss, the Foresters even up their season record at 9-9 as well as their conference record at 4-4.

Despite tonight’s result, Shondell likes the direction his team is heading. “All you want in a team is one that doesn't give in and works together to find ways to win. We're becoming that team and I'm excited to watch it happen.”

The turnaround is quick for the Foresters as they host #25 Marian University Saturday afternoon at 1:00 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 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.