Volleyball downed by Transylvania in five sets

Claire Dennis

HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover volleyball team dropped a marathon, five-set match at home to Transylvania Wednesday evening, 25-16, (11-25), (23-25), 25-19, (5-15).

The Panthers (8-9, 1-2 HCAC), who had not played at home for nearly one month, fall to 2-2 inside Collier Arena this season. Hanover also suffered its fourth five-set loss of the fall. With the win, the Pioneers improved to 7-9 overall and 1-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.

Freshman Kelsey Ketcham (Mishawaka, Ind.) picked up her fifth statistical triple-double of the season, which is now one off the national lead for NCAA Division III. Ketcham tallied a team-high 11 kills and 17 assists, while also placing second on the team Wednesday with 17 digs. Another Panther that added double-digit kills was sophomore Blaise Chaney (Mason, Ohio) with 10.

Freshman Maddie Edwards (Jasper, Ind.) was on pace for double-digit kills, but was taken out in the fourth set due to injury. Edwards finished with seven kills and a team-best .375 hitting percentage.

Defensively, senior Claire Dennis (Bloomington, Ind.) almost tallied a double-double, recording 14 digs and nine total blocks. The senior had five of her rejections come in the third set. Junior Ally Williams (Fountaintown, Ind.) posted a team-best 23 digs, while senior Abby Crump (Indianapolis, Ind.) pitched in with 15, while also logging 15 assists.

Hanover opened the match strong, taking the first set by a count of 25-16. After holding an early one-point advantage, HC opened the frame with a 10-3 run, engineered by Ketcham and Edwards, to take a 17-9 lead. The Blue and Red led by as many as nine points twice in the set, including the final score.

Transylvania was able to take the next two sets, 25-11 and 25-23. The Pioneers rallied from an early deficit in set three, as Hanover led 15-10 thanks to a three-block sequence from Dennis. Transy though, tied the set at 16-all and again at 21-all before capitalizing late.

Needing a win in set four, Hanover used a 9-2 run, capped by a kill from freshman Emma Rolf (Lebanon, Ind.), to lead 18-11. The Panthers led comfortably for the remainder of the frame, sending the match to a fifth set after a 25-19 decision.

In the decisive final set, Hanover was on the wrong side of a 6-2 scoring spurt to start. The deficit ended up being too much to overcome, as the Blue and Red fell, 15-5.

The Panthers will look to bounce back quickly though, as they break from conference play with a 7 p.m. match at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Thursday, Oct. 4. Hanover has taken all three previous meetings against the Pomeroys, all of which were 3-0 victories at home.

Contact: Tyler Jester