By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Capital University volleyball team met a tough opponent in strong hitting Earlham College. The Quakers defeated the Crusaders, 3-0 (25-15, 25-9, 25-19), at home on Tuesday night.
From the start of the match, Earlham College (4-1) made waves at the net with strong hitting percentages from its front line attackers. Those in the front helped put together a team hit percentage of .351 over the course of the match and twice hit better than 40 percent in a given set. Conversely, Capital struggled to generate an offensive flow and hit just 8.2 percent for the match.
Though integrated into the offense slowly, Earlham's Ashleigh Burton posted an impressive line in which she recorded 13 kills on 14 attempts, good for a .929 hit percentage, coming primarily on quick-set attacks. She led both sides on the offensive end and also added two block assists.
Capital altered its lineup over the course of the match to try to find a solution for the Quakers strong offense by using liberos Isabel Jimenez and Erin O'Connell in the back and injecting Miranda Jordan and Jessica Gavlak into the front lines alongside starters Rylie Young and Delanie Nahikian. The third set proved to be most productive against the Earlham attack when that rotation was used as they slowed down the Quakers to hit just .175 and let no more than three points separate them before a 4-1 run ended the game, 25-19.
Freshman Delanie Nahikian (Allegan, Mich./Allegan) led Cap with six kills. On the defensive end, freshman Erin O'Connell (Lyndhurst, Ohio/Gilmour Academy) had a team-high nine digs. Isabel Jimenez (7), Alexa Jeffers (4) and Jenay Kocsis (6) all earned time setting for the Crusaders.
Capital (0-4) will seek its first win this weekend in Cleveland, Ohio when the Crusaders head northeast to compete in the Case Western Reserve University Invitational. They kick off the tournament against St. Mary-of-the-Woods College on Friday night, September 7. They will follow with two games on Saturday, September 8, against Defiance College and Hiram College at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.