Between strong performances from junior opposite hitter/middle blocker Morgan Hendrix and junior setter Kylann Scheidt, the AU volleyball team swept Coppin State, 3-0, Sept. 19 in its first match in Bender Arena in nearly a month.
“It’s great being home and it’s definitely a good win for us,” said Scheidt, who tallied a game-high 27 assists, six digs and five blocks. “This game is really good for us to get back in our flow and hit the balls into the ground.”
The Eagles (7-5) outblocked Coppin State (4-7) 14-1 on the night, and outhit it .305 to -.050. Hendrix led AU with a career-best nine blocks and game-high eight kills. She also hit .800 and recorded zero errors.
“We certainly attacked the ball better,” AU head coach Barry Goldberg said. “Their team was athletic and they hit balls hard, [but] we blocked exceptionally well.”
AU got off to a quick start in the first set, scoring five of the first six points and then built a 13-4 lead off back-to-back kills and a block from sophomore outside hitter/middle blocker Sara Rishell. Rishell totaled six kills, three service aces and three digs.
The Eagles opened up their first double-digit lead midway through the first set, when they led 16-6. Coppin State was not able to cut the deficit to less than ten for the rest of the set, and fell 25-11 off Bree Scarbrough’s kill.
Scarbrough, a sophomore middle blocker/opposite hitter, hit .400 in the match and recorded no errors. Scheidt tallied ten assists in the first set.
“Kylann, especially in game one and game three, really was able to mix it up a lot better to give our hitters good opportunities,” Goldberg said. “Kylann’s got a big job in her hands to make sure that we are hitting a good percentage and just getting a lot of kills per set.”
Coppin State came out strong in the second set, capitalizing on a few AU attack errors to build a 9-8 advantage, which was its only lead in the match. The Eagles quickly responded with a 6-0 run off three straight blocks and a kill from Hendrix.
“Our blocking was fantastic,” Scheidt said. “We had 14 blocks as a team, and that’s just huge. We were in our flow and we were hitting the ball, serving well and passing well.”
AU held at least a five-point lead the rest of the set, and won 25-14.
The third set consisted of more of the same for the Eagles, as they quickly built a 5-0 lead. However, Coppin State was able to claw its way back into the game and tied it up at 16-16. AU then used a 4-0 run to propel them to a 25-18 victory and the sweep.