2019 volleyball

Colonels pick up win over Gardner-Webb after falling to Kent State

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Eastern Kentucky began the 2019 volleyball season by splitting a pair of matches at the Charlotte Invitational. The Colonels beat Gardner-Webb, 3-1, after opening with a 3-0 loss to Kent State.

The Golden Flashes won the first match by scores of 25-23, 25-19 and 25-17. EKU beat Gardner-Webb by scores of 23-25, 25-11, 25-21 and 25-21.

Eastern Kentucky led Gardner-Webb 23-22 in the first set before the Bulldogs scored three straight to win and take a 1-0 lead. The Colonels took control early in the second set and never gave it up. EKU scored the first four points, went in front 8-1 on a kill by Rachel Woody, and cruised to a 25-11 match-tying win.

Gardner-Webb jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the third and was up 17-14 late in the set. Eastern used a 7-1 run to regain momentum in the match. A kill by Katelyn Caserma-Kloeble finished off the run and have her team a 21-18 advantage. Freshman Abby Noll’s kill ended the set, 25-21, and put Eastern Kentucky on top 2-1. With the fourth set tied 19-19, the Colonels scored three straight points to build a cushion they never relinquished, winning the final set 25-21.

Noll had a match-best 24 kills to go along with 23 digs. Dena Tekavec registered 31 digs. Caserma-Kloeble had 12 kills.

Against KSU, Jovana Bulatovic went for 16 kills and seven digs. Senior setter Rachel Woody posted her first double-double of the year with 27 assists and 12 digs. Noll chipped in six kills and six digs on the contest.

Early on in set one the two teams trades points making it 12-12 after an EKU error. Kent State went on to score five of the next six points to take a 17-13 lead over the Colonels. After falling behind 24-17, Eastern did not go down without a fight. EKU scored six straight points behind Bulatovic’s three kills to cut the lead to 24-23. A Savannah Matthews kill would end the set for Kent State and give the Golden Flashes a 1-0 lead.

Set two started off much like set one and the teams were all tied at 4-4 after trading points. KSU used a 9-2 run after a kill by Jacqlyn Caspers to take a 13-6 lead and not look back. Eastern made a couple runs but could never get closer than four points the rest of the set.

The Golden Flashes used a 7-2 run early in set three to take a 10-5 lead. Eastern cut the lead KSU lead to 20-15 after a kill by Bulatovic, but the Colonels could not get any closer.

Alex Haffner posted a team-best 25 assists along with six digs on the match for Kent State. KSU had four players post five kills or more in the contest.

The Colonels will conclude play at the Charlotte Invitational on Saturday against host 49ers at noon.