Sept. 8 – CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Hiram volleyball team came up aces on Friday evening, getting back on track with a pair of wins on the opening day of the Marcia French Tournament. The Terriers posted 30 total aces in victories over Hilbert College and Eastern Mennonite University, pushing their record to 5-2 on the young season.
Hiram opened the tournament by handling the Hawks of Hilbert in straight sets, winning the match by scores of 25-9, 25-10, 25-6. The Terriers committed just five attack errors in the entire match, while posting 19 service aces.
Sophomore Madison Fortune led the way for Hiram, posting a solid, all-around performance. Fortune came two aces shy of tying a Hiram single-game record, finishing with seven. She also added a team-high eight digs, posted five kills and led the team with 12 total points.
Freshman Kiara Franks also played well in the match, posting six service aces while totaling five kills and hitting .714 for the match.
Jaya Martin led the way for Hiram in the kills category, posting a season-high eight. Other offensive leaders included Summer Schervish with five, and Jess Fontana and Destinee Harris, who finished with four, each. Freshman Rylee Brown made the most of her first-career start, posting 23 assists.
Against the Royals, the Terriers once again performed well on the service line, acing EMU 11 times en route to a 3-1 victory. Hiram took the first two sets, 25-20 and 25-21, before dropping set three 26-24. The Terriers then rallied to finish off the match with an eight-point win in set four (25-17).
With the two sides keeping it close in the opening set, the Terriers and Royals were deadlocked at 20-20. However, a five-point Hiram run, which included a pair of kills from Cole and an ace by Lindsey Walker, gave the Terriers the set one decision.
Trailing 6-2 to open the second set, Hiram rattled off a 9-2 run which swung the momentum in the Terriers' direction, giving them an 11-8 lead. Aces by Stahl and another by Walker helped fuel the swing, while Grace Wilson and Cole added kills. Following the seven-point swing, Hiram never again trailed in the set, taking game two, 25-21.
Looking to put the match away in set three, the Terriers held a 24-22 advantage in what appeared to be the final set. However, three-straight attack errors gave EMU set three, 26-24.
Hiram put the game away, however, in the fourth set, running away with a 25-17 win. Trailing 9-8, Cole and Wilson got the Terriers going again, combining for nine kills in what amounted to a 15-1 run to put the deciding set out of reach.
Cole led three Terriers in double-digit kills, posting 14 while adding 15 digs for her second double-double of the season. Schervish added 13 for Hiram, while Jessica Fontana hit .562, posting 10 kills on 16 chances.
Wilson added eight kills in the match, while Franks and Fortune finished with five and four, respectively.
Walker and Holly Hoffman split the setter duties in the match and tied for the team lead with three aces, each. Hoffman also finished with 25 assists, while Walker added 23.
Defensively, Stahl notched 16 digs in the match, while getting in on the offensive action with three aces. Other dig leaders included Fortune's eight, seven from Walker, and six apiece from Franks and Schady.
Hiram will return to the floor tomorrow as they compete in the second day of the Marcia French Tournament. The Terriers will take on Buffalo State at 11 a.m. before closing the tournament against #24 Carnegie Mellon at 3 p.m.