COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Earlham College volleyball team took a set in each match, but fell in matches to Capital University 3-1 and Denison University 3-1 on the first day of the Capital-Otterbein Invitational on Friday.
In the loss to Capital, Earlham got off to a sizzling start as the Quakers hit a .455 clip in the first set en route to a 25-12 victory. The Crusaders tied the match up winning the second set 25-18.
Set three proved to be the pivotal one as Earlham jumped out to a 15-10 lead on the back of a service run from sophomore Denisha Mataia. The teams traded side outs until a Mataia kill gave the Quakers a 19-14 advantage and forced a Capital timeout.
The Crusaders then rattled off five straight points to tie the set at 19-19, forcing a timeout from head coach Lauren Crump. Capital won two of the next three points to take a 22-20 lead, but Mataia again delivered two kills followed by another kill from freshman Angelica Carpio to put Earlham up a point.
Capital won the next two rallies to take a 24-23 advantage. The Quakers would save two set points, but could not win a point on serve. Back-to-back kills from Kirsten Nickles gave the Crusaders the set 27-25. Capital won the fourth set 25-18 to clinch the match.
Mataia and sophomore Skylar Muckway led the way with 13 kills each. Sophomore Ashleigh Burton added 10 kills and ten digs. Sophomore Megan Hedinger tallied a career-high 28 digs while freshman Lauren Jackson dished out 36 assists.
Earlham fell to Denison 3-1 (25-13, 24-26, 25-23, 25-23) in the second match. Freshamn Vanessa Duran led Earlham in kills with 14. Muckway and Burton added 12 and 10 kills respectively. For the second consecutive match, Jackson dished out over 30 assists and Hedinger dug up at least 20 digs.
The Quakers will take on Case Western Reserve and Otterbein tomorrow (Saturday).