RICHMOND, Ind. – All five sets were excruciatingly close, but Earlham College volleyball came out on top in the three sets it needed to dispatch Richmond neighbor Indiana University-East, 3-2 (25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 18-25, 15-13) in the two teams' annual Crosstown Battle on Wednesday night at the Druley Performance Gym.
The win was the Quakers' second over the Red Wolves in the last three seasons, improving Earlham overall record versus IU-East to 5-2, with both victories coming on Earlham's home court. Earlham also improved to 12-5 overall in its final non-conference tilt of the 2019 season.
Earlham rallied from a 7-4 deficit in the decisive fifth set and went on a 7-2 run that left the Quakers in command, 11-9. IU-East eventually tied things up at 12-12, forcing Earlham to call a timeout, but the Quakers came out of the break and picked up the next two points on a service error by the Red Wolves and a block from Earlham sophomore Giselle Mora and Abbey Zanatta.
A kill by Mora two points later allowed Earlham to clinch the win.
Sophomore Caroline Mulvihill put down a team-high 15 kills on 53 swings for a .208 attack percentage, while sophomore Sarah Dickman also cracked double-digits with 14 terminations. Zanatta and Mora each finished with eight kills. Senior setter Lauren Jackson was credited with 42 assists while running an Earlham offense that hit at a .160 clip for the night.
Mora also charted one block solo and five block assists to lead an Earlham squad that recorded a season-high nine total blocks.
Mulvihill turned the double-double with 11 digs, while senior libero Sydney Ameluxen paced the defense with 21 of the Quakers' 87 digs.
IU-East was paced by junior pin hitter Taylor McKinney with 20 kills while senior Breanna Kopke charted 13 kills. McKinney recorded four of the Red Wolves' 10 service aces on the night. The Red Wolves hit .163 for the match but yielded 29 points on attack error and another 15 points on setting and service errors.
Earlham volleyball opens Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play on Saturday, Oct. 5, when it hosts Bluffton University at the Druley Performance Gym. Game time is 12:00 p.m.