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Spikers end dry spell with four-set victory over Spring Arbor

by Gina Eisenhut

 

SERVICE POINT: Sophomore Emily Hubby serves the ball in Foresters' home match against Spring Arbor. (photo by Journey Masters)

SERVICE POINT: Sophomore Emily Hubby serves the ball in Foresters’ home match against Spring Arbor. (photo by Journey Masters)

The volleyball team completed a season sweep of conference foe Spring Arbor Oct. 17. The Foresters previously defeated the Cougars this season Sept. 19 in a tight five-set victory at home.

HU had dropped a disappointing loss in straight sets the night before their Oct. 17 win to Saint Francis on the road. Though the Foresters defeated Saint Francis in straight sets a month earlier, the roles were reversed during the team’s second season meeting.

Middle blockers Josie Beaver and Ashli Drewes tallied six kills apiece in the loss. Junior setter Suzanne Grimm collected a team-high 20 assists, while freshmen Danielle Gurwell had two solo blocks.

Head coach Kyle Shondell said Beaver has been fighting injuries all season, but one wouldn’t know it from her play.

“She’s tough, and she deals with it,” he said. “She’s coming on pretty strong right now.”

The Foresters’ road win over Spring Arbor ended a six-game losing skid. Beaver and junior Audrey Mallers teamed-up offensively, registering 16 kills apiece, to lead the Forester offensive attack.

“It felt great to beat Spring Arbor,” Mallers said. “We had some times where we were down in the game, but we stuck together and never lost confidence in each other.”

Mallers said the team meshes well both on-and-off the court, which contributes to their ability to remain as a unit in tough matches.

Sophomore setter Emily Hubby posted a career-best 20 digs to go along with her 25 assists. Kate Cobb contributed a team-high 22 digs.

Shondell said the win was a combined effort of several players stepping up their game.

“Hubby did a better job of just taking ownership of her role,” Shondell said. “And she’s a great defender, but sometimes she doesn’t make good defensive plays. But she made great defensive plays – it was the biggest thing she did for us that night.”

He called Cobb, the Foresters’ libero, his team’s “energizer bunny.”

“She’s only a sophomore, but she’s kind of our driving force when we need one,” Shondell said.

The Foresters dropped a three-game set on the road at Mount Vernon Oct. 20. Senior Kelsey Kruse guided her team with 11 kills in the contest, while Beaver chipped in 10. Cobb had 22 digs, while Hubby tallied 17 assists.

Looking forward to the rest of the conference season, Amanda Seaman said her team needs to focus on discipline and finishing close games.

“If we have a lead in a game, we sometimes let the other team get back in it,” Seaman said. “If we stay disciplined and push through at opportune times, we can be successful in the rest of our season.”

The Foresters need to place in the top eight amongst conference opponents to lock down a bid into the Crossroads League tournament. The team was ranked sixth following their loss to Mount Vernon.

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