Big Red tame Tigers for eighth-straight win

Carly Tenaglia  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Carly Tenaglia | Photo by Jace Delgado

GREENCASTLE, Ind. – Denison volleyball moved their winning streak to eight games on Wednesday evening following a 3-0 sweep (26-24, 26-24, 25-23) of DePauw University at Neal Fieldhouse in Greencastle, Ind. This marks the program's longest winning-streak since 2002 when the Big Red also won eight-straight and went 22-9 on the year.

Earning their first victory over the Tigers since 2013, Denison finished the match with a .265 hit percentage after connecting on 47 kills while forcing 17 DePauw errors. This is also the best start to a season for DU since 2013 when the Big Red opened the campaign 11-4.

Trailing 10-2 in the first set, Denison rallied for 12 of the next 18 points on six attacking errors from the Tigers and kills from Lucy Anderson, Alex Tubbs, and Emma Woerner to cut the Big Red deficit to 16-14.

Denison continued their rally at the end of the set when the Big Red broke a 23-18 deficit with kills from Tubbs, Woerner, and Sidney Gossard to tie the match at 24-24. Following another strike from Tubbs, sophomore Payton McElfresh ended the frame with a kill to give Denison the 26-24 win.

In the second set, it was the Big Red who jumped out to an early 11-6 advantage off of five points from Woerner and kills from Anderson and Sophie Tight. DePauw followed with scoring runs of four and five-straight points as the two sides were locked in at a 20-20 tie.

Following a service error that put the Big Red in a 24-23 deficit, Denison's Tight tied the set with a kill off a feed from Kaila Kasper while back-to-back Tiger errors gave Denison a 2-0 lead entering the final frame.

The Big Red carried their momentum into the third set as they built a 9-3 lead off of attacking strikes from Anderson, McElfresh, Woerner, and Carly Tenaglia. Leading 16-10, Denison allowed seven consecutive points from the Tigers as DePauw took their first lead of the set, 17-16.

Trailing 23-21 in the final moments, the Big Red used a pair of kills from Gossard and Anderson to lock down their third-straight set and improve to 11-5 on the season. The loss sends DePauw to 10-6 in 2019.

Three players posted 10 or more kills for Denison, highlighted by Woerner's 13 kills and .400 hit percentage. Gossard and Anderson each added 10 kills while Gossard also posted 10 digs. Jenna Corrao led the team with 19 digs and Tight paced the Big Red with a match-best 39 assists.

DePauw's Morgan Stearley led the night with 18 kills while Liv Hartman and Sera Little combined for 21 strikes. Grace Filbrun collected 25 assists and Stearley and Jenna Purichia each finished with 15 digs.

Denison will bring their eight-match winning streak back to Livingston Gymnasium on Saturday, Oct. 5 when the Big Red host Hiram College at 1 p.m. in Granville.