- Liz Holmes put on one of her thunderous, stop-this-if-you-can
attacking exhibitions Friday afternoon against Hillsdale (Mich.),
and the Northern Kentucky University middle hitter's performance
keyed the Norse's huge regional victory over the nationally ranked
with 19 kills and a .667 hitting percentage as NKU defeated Hillsdale,
26-30, 30-27, 30-26, 37-35, in the Ashland Invitational. NKU entered
the match ranked No. 24 nationally in the NCAA Division II poll,
while Hillsdale (7-3) was No. 7 in the rankings.
NKU fought back
from a 1-0 deficit in games to post its third victory of the season
over a team ranked in the top 10 of the national poll. After attacking
at a .179 clip in the first game, the Norse proceeded to hit .286,
.319 and .333 in the remaining three sets to knock off the Great
Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference powerhouse.
In the fourth
game, NKU built a 25-20 lead and appeared ready to coast to the
win. Hillsdale, however, responded with an 8-1 run to take a 28-26
advantage. NKU tied the game at 28-all and later survived a game
point at 29-28 when Kristina Eisenmenger slammed down one of her
18 kills to tie it at 29-all.
After that Eisenmenger
kill, NKU held match point five times before closing it out. Eisenmenger
and freshman Morgan Elyea combined to block an attack by Kitt Smith
for the final point and a 37-35 Norse victory.
Natalie Forbes also keyed NKU's victory with 61 assists, nine digs
and six kills. Forbes directed the Norse offense flawlessly during
the final three games (NKU hit .285 as a team for the match), and
she attacked at a .308 clip.
added 19 kills and 15 digs for the Norse, who earlier this season
defeated both No. 9 North Alabama and No. 8 Ashland. In addition
to her 18 kills, Eisenmenger hit .263 wit three blocks. Elyea collected
six blocks, four kills and attacked at a .444 clip.
Megan Dooley and Chelsea Clark each finished with nine digs for
the Norse, who held a 65-62 edge over the Chargers in that category.
Hillsdale hit .222 for the match, including .317 in the fourth game.
In the nightcap,
No. 13 Grand Valley State rallied from a one-game deficit to post
a 24-30, 30-28, 30-21, 30-25 win over NKU. The taller Lakers (8-2)
dominated action at the net and finished with a 25-9 advantage in
a double-double with 16 kills and 12 digs, while Eisenmenger added
14 kills and a .458 hitting percentage. Grand Valley State hit .331
behind the play of setter Jamie Ashmore, who totaled 47 assists,
five blocks and 10 kills.
NKU began the
match by attacking at a .474 clip in the first game and rolled to
a 30-24 win. Grand Valley State responded and pulled out a tough
30-28 decision in the second game to tie the match. NKU hit just
.053 in the second game, while the Lakers finished at .222.
out 48 assists and added six digs for NKU. Dye added 18 kills and
nine digs, while teammate Megan Dooley had 11 digs.