ADA, Ohio - October 2, 2019 – Hiram Terriers women's volleyball dropped a tough, five-set road contest to the 12th-ranked Ohio Northern Polar Bears, 3-2, on Wednesday at the Ohio Northern University Sports Center.
After a back-and-forth start to the opening set, the Polar Bears jumped out to an early, five-point lead. But Hiram answered with an 8-2 run to knot the score at 17-all.
But the Polar Bears were quick to answer, surging ahead in the second set with an 11-3 run, before knotting the match at one set apiece with a 25-18 victory.
And it was more of the same in the third set, as 12th-ranked Ohio Northern raced out to an 8-0 lead, before eventually taking the third set, 25-9, to go up two sets to one.
However, the Terriers came back to force a decisive, fifth set. Hiram and Ohio Northern battled to open the fourth set, trading points with the score tied at 3-3. The Terriers opened a four-point lead off serves from Kayla Cole and Emily Chrustic, but the Polar Bears climbed back to tie the set at 14-14.
Hiram again jumped ahead, and this time was able to hold off Ohio Northern's charge. Jaya Martin's kill kept the Polar Bears from tying the set at 20, while another kill by Kiara Franks gave the Terriers' the set, 25-23.
The Terriers opened the fifth set with an early 2-1 lead, but five-straight Polar Bear points proved to be trouble. Hiram cut the deficit down to three but couldn't get any closer, as Ohio Northern matched the Terriers point-for-point to finish off the 3-2 victory with a 15-10 fifth-set victory.
Martin turned in an all-around game, recording her first double-double of the season with a season-high 14 kills and 10 digs, adding four blocks. Lindsey Walker also tallied a double-double, her tenth of the year, with 10 kills and 11 digs as well as four aces, while Franks joined the duo in double-figures with 11 kills.
Chrustic recorded a season-high 45 assists, while Mackenzie Brannon led the Terriers on the defensive end with a season-high 19 digs.
With the loss, Hiram drops to 11-7, while the Polar Bears move to 13-3 on the year.
Hiram will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 5 when they travel to Granville, Ohio for an NCAC conference matchup against the Denison Big Red at 1:00 p.m.