RICHMOND, Ind. – Earlham College volleyball uncorked its best hitting performance this season against a conference foe on its way to a 3-1 (25-9, 19-25, 25-15, 25-16) victory over Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference match on Wednesday night at the Druley Performance Gym.
The Quakers hit .278 for the match, led by sophomore outside hitter Sarah Dickman with 15 kills on 33 swings with three errors for a .364 attack percentage. Junior Julia Stewart hammered down 14 terminations on 34 attacks for a robust .265 hitting clip, and completed the double-double with a match-high 19 digs.
Sophomore middle Caroline Mulvihill recorded nine kills for the Maroon and White. Sophomore Giselle Mora had five kills to go with one block solo and six block assists. Earlham finished the night with 7.0 blocks, matching the second-most in a match this season for the Quakers.
Senior setter Lauren Jackson had 41 assists, and sprawled for 18 digs for the Quakers.
On the Rose-Hulman side of the net, Elizabeth Canon paced the Fightin' Engineers with nine kills, while Kayla Harding and Riley Woodruff had six each. Rose-Hulman hit just .028 for the match – worst hitting performance of the season for the Fightin' Engineers – and gave away better than a full set to the Quakers with 29 attack errors.
Earlham asserted itself right out of the gate in set one, pulling away at 5-4 with three-straight points and then a seven-point run off Stewart's serve that ended with the Quakers holding a 15-5 advantage. After a side out service error, Earlham again rattled off a six-point run launched by a Mulvihill ace and three straight RHIT attack errors. The Maroon and White eventually closed out the set with a double block from Mora and Abbey Zanatta.
Rose-Hulman rebounded to take set two, but Earlham regained its first set form in sets three and four – taking an early lead and using long point runs that kept the Engineers on their heels. After opening set three with a 3-0 lead, the Quakers went on an eight-point run midway through the set ending with a 18-7 lead. In set four, Earlham opened with a 5-0 lead and cruised through the remainder of the frame.
Earlham improved to 17-8 overall, 5-3 in the HCAC, and all-but-clinched a home match for the opening round of the HCAC Tournament next Wednesday. Rose-Hulman slipped to 13-15 overall, also with a 5-3 conference record.
The Quakers close out their 2019 regular season on Saturday, Nov. 2, when they travel to Franklin, Indiana, to face Franklin College. Match start time will be 3:00 p.m.