HIRAM, Ohio - September 27, 2019 – Hiram Terriers women's volleyball fell in their North Coast Athletic Conference opener to the 22nd-ranked Wittenberg Tigers, 3-0, on Friday at Price Gymnasium.
Though the Terriers earned the first point of the match, Wittenberg followed with a 7-0 run to open a six-point lead. Hiram climbed their way back, cutting the deficit to just one, 10-9, on a kill by Melina Lee, but the Tigers answered with another big run, taking a 17-10 lead.
After another response by the Terriers to pull within two, Wittenberg broke Emily Chrustic's serve on a kill by Katie Hiestand, and pulled away with a 7-2 run to take the first set, 25-18.
Wittenberg again opened set two with a big run, taking an early 9-3 lead. Hiram pulled to within three on two serves by Mackenzie Brannon, but this time, Wittenberg wouldn't let the Terriers get any closer.
Dakota White slowed Hiram's run, and Wittenberg pulled away, taking the second set, 25-13.
With the match on the line, Hiram and Wittenberg went back-and-forth to open the third set. With the score knotted at six, kills by Jaya Martin, Kayla Cole and Kiara Franks gave the Terriers a three-point lead.
Hiram kept their lead, before a quick 5-1 run by the Tigers gave it right back to Wittenberg. The Tigers started to pull away, and looked to be on the verge of finishing off the match, up 22-19.
But the Terriers fought back, holding off match point on kills by Madison Fortune and Cole, as well as a block by Franks, to tie the score at 24.
From there the teams traded serves, each trying to press the advantage and pull ahead by two. The Terriers and Tigers stood tied at 26-26, 27-27, 28-28 and 29-29 before a Wittenberg took advantage of a service error to finish off the set, 31-29, and pick up the three-set victory.
With the loss, Hiram falls to 11-5 (0-1 NCAC), while Wittenberg moves to 6-5 (1-0 NCAC) on the year.
Walker led the Terriers with nine kills, while Chrustic added 15 assists. Madison Burns joined Chrustic in double-figures with 10 assists, while both Walker and Chrustic tallied seven digs.
The Terriers will look to bounce back when they host the DePauw University Tigers on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. at Price Gymnasium.