INDIANAPOLIS – Hillsdale defeated Ashland 3-2 on Friday to advance to the third round of the national tournament for the second year in a row and second time in program history.
The Eagles won the first two sets by scores of 25-18 and 25-15, which left the Chargers in a two set deficit. Ashland hit .324 in the first set and .484 in the second set and held an 8-2 blocking advantage on the Chargers.
Hillsdale slowly took the momentum back with better serve-receive passing and court coverage in the third set, beating the Eagles 25-17.
The momentum picked up into set four, as the Chargers kept building up their lead en route to a 25-13 win.
In the fifth set, neither team led by more than three points and there were eight ties. With the match tied at 14, freshman Haylee Booms stepped up to deliver the two match-deciding kills and send Hillsdale to the third round.
Booms finished with 10 kills, six block assists and a .333 hitting percentage.
One day after setting a career-high in kills in her postseason debut, Emily Wolfert had 22 kills, eight digs and six block assists and was Hillsdale’s go-to player on offense in each of the final three sets.
Junior Caitlin Kopmeyer had 11 kills, 20 digs and two key service aces.
Senior Lauren Grover delivered 10 kills and four block assists for the Chargers. Sophomore Bailey Lindner played well through all three of Hillsdale’s set wins and led the team with 22 digs.
Also setting a career-high for the second day in a row was sophomore setter Alexis Waugh, who dished out 49 assists. Waugh also had seven digs and two block assists.
This match was the first time all season Hillsdale rallied from an 0-2 deficit to win. Through the first two sets of the match Ashland outblocked Hillsdale 8-2, but the Chargers held a 9-4 edge in team blocks in the final three sets. AU’s team hitting percentage per set dropped from .484 in set two to -.021 in the fourth set.