Denison extends winning streak to nine with sweep of Hiram

Alex Tubbs  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Alex Tubbs | Photo by Jace Delgado

GRANVILLE, Ohio – Denison volleyball continued their dominant stretch during the 2019 season thanks to a 3-0 sweep of Hiram College (26-24, 25-18, 25-13) on Saturday afternoon at Livingston Gymnasium. Saturday's victory moved the Big Red's winning streak to nine games on the year, which is the longest win streak since 2001 when DU went 21-12 and reached the NCAC Tournament Championship game.

Highlighted by a .367 hit percentage in the second set and 21 combined kills from Lucy Anderson and Emma Woerner, the Big Red rallied from an early 5-1 deficit in the opening frame to win the next five points on kills from Payton McElfresh, Carly Tenaglia, and Sophie Tight to take a 6-5 lead.

After the Terriers regained the lead, 10-7, on kills from Lindsey Walker and Kayla Cole, the Big Red continued to fight back as they won nine of the next 11 points and built their lead to 16-12.

Following a Hiram timeout at the end of the set, the Terriers tallied back-to-back points to go ahead 24-23 and set up match point. Denison head coach Carter Cassell countered with a timely break for DU, which led to three-straight points and the set victory on kills from McElfresh and Sidney Gossard. Denison entered the second frame with a 1-0 lead.

The Big Red took the lead from the start in the second set, building an 11-6 advantage off five attacking errors for HC and service aces from Gossard and McElfresh. Holding a 19-15 lead at the end of the set, Denison posted six of the final nine points on kills from Gossard, McElfresh, Woerner, Anderson, and senior Alex Tubbs to take a commanding 2-0 advantage entering the final frame.

Denison kept their momentum rolling in the third set as they opened the frame on an 11-2 scoring run, including six-straight points off the serve of McElfresh. The Terriers trimmed their deficit to 13-8, but multiple kills from Anderson helped the Big Red finish the match on a 12-5 scoring run for their ninth-straight victory of the season. The win moved DU to 12-5 on the year and a perfect 3-0 in conference play. Hiram fell to 11-8 and 0-3 in NCAC play.

Anderson led Denison's efforts with 11 kills and five blocks for a .375 hit percentage while Woerner posted 10 kills and 11 digs. Tubbs recorded five kills on seven attacks for a team-high .714 kill rate while Tight collected 31 assists and Jenna Corrao finished with a match-best 21 digs.

Walker tallied 11 kills and 11 digs to pace the Terriers. Cole and Kiara Franks combined for 15 kills while Emily Chrustic added 27 assists.

Denison will look for their 10th-straight win next Tuesday, Oct. 8 when they travel to Delaware, Ohio for a 7 p.m. showdown with Ohio Wesleyan University.