The Stetson University volleyball team was on the verge of a dramatic come-from-behind victory at Kennesaw State's Convocation Center Friday night. Down 2-0 in the match, the Hatters (15-11, 6-5 A-Sun) rallied to win sets three and four before letting an 8-2 lead slip away in the decisive fifth set. The Owls (9-12, 4-7) closed the match on a 13-3 run to steal the 3-2 (25-17, 25-16, 23-25, 20-25, 15-11) Atlantic Sun Conference victory.
"We started off slow and flat, and we did not perform well in the first two games," Stetson head coach Tim Loesch said. "However, I was proud of the girls for turning it around. We had a good talk at intermission. We played with a lot more energy and aggressiveness in sets three and four. We really continued to play well half way through set five. Then we made some unforced errors and Kennesaw took advantage of it."
Stetson was led by freshmen and Atlanta-area natives Tiffany Creamer (14 kills) and Madison Akins (11 kills) who performed well in front of their home crowd. Kaley Melville added 10 kills and six digs. Kayla Weller (32 assists) and Danika Yoder (12 assists) helped run the offense, while Ellen Hawks (four blocks) and Erika White (three blocks) helped contribute to the Hatters' nine team blocks. Sophomore Alexa Drost picked up a career-high 23 digs in her first start at the libero spot.
"I was very proud of Tiffany and Madison for stepping up and leading us offensively today," Loesch said. "Mel Melville had a slow start but turned it on in the second half. I also want to mention Alexa Drost who had 23 digs and made a lot of good passes for us, too. Our setters also performed well - Kayla came in there and gave us opportunities even when are passing wasn't going well. Danika stepped in and did a good job in sets three and four when we ran a 6-2 offense.
"Overall we played well for two-and-a-half sets, Kennesaw played well for two-and-a-half, and they were the team that finished a little bit stronger," Loesch said.
Stetson will look to bounce back on Saturday as the Hatters visit Mercer for 3 p.m. match that will be streamed live on ASun.TV.