Volleyball suffers first loss in five-set thriller with Thomas More

Claire Dennis and Kristin Goben go up for block


HANOVER, Ind. – Despite a strong defensive effort, which included 14 team blocks, the Hanover volleyball team fell for the first time in 2017, dropping a home contest to Thomas More, 3-2 (25-19, 18-25, 25-20, 21-25, 15-13).

The Panthers (8-1) forced the Saints into a .104 hitting percentage during the five-set thriller, while holding them to under .100 in two frames. Hanover however, could not generate enough offense as a whole, hitting a season low .137.

Junior Claire Dennis (Bloomington, Ind.) posted two solo and nine assisted blocks for a total of 11 in the match. Senior Kristin Goben (Finchville, Ky.) added seven total blocks, while logging a pair of solo rejections herself.

Four Panthers tallied double-digit digs in the match, with senior Monique Huynh (Indianapolis, Ind.) leading the way with 24. Dennis added 19 digs, while junior Abby Crump (Indianapolis, Ind.) and sophomore Ally Williams (Fountaintown, Ind.) recorded 16 and 14 respectively.

Offensively, junior Margo Main (Ann Arbor, Mich.) paced the Panthers with 13 kills. Main posted eight of her team high kill total in the first two sets.

Goben and fellow senior, Courtney Crawford (Louisville, Ky.), pitched in with 10 kills apiece. Crawford had 10 kills in 15 total attacks, logging a team high .533 hitting clip.

After dropping the opening set, one in which they never led, the Panthers jumped out to an 11-7 lead in the second frame. Hanover never trailed in the second frame, tying the match at one-all with a 25-18 decision.

The Blue and Red opened the third set on a 4-1 scoring run, but a 6-0 scoring spurt by Thomas More (4-4) gave them a 7-4 advantage. The Saints never relinquished the lead after that, cruising to a 25-20 third set victory.

Needing to win set No. 4, Hanover used a 7-0 scoring run to take a 15-8 lead. Sophomore Madie Snyder (Boonville, Ind.) logged a pair of kills to help ignite the run. Snyder finished with five kills in 12 attacks over the final three sets.

The Panthers pushed the lead to as many as 10 points, 20-10, before holding on to force a fifth and final frame, winning 25-20.

Thomas More scored the opening two points of the fifth and decisive set, but the Panthers scored five of the next six to capture a 5-3 advantage, forcing a TMC timeout. Hanover would be forced to take the next timeout however, as the Saints scored seven of the next nine to go in front, 10-7.

After falling behind 14-10, the Panthers were able to score three straight, including back-to-back points from Goben, one on a block and another on an attack, to close the gap to 14-13. Thomas More would earn a kill on the next rally, ultimately ending the HC comeback attempt, 15-13.

The Panthers will look to bounce back this weekend when they travel to compete in the DePauw Invitational. Hanover opens tournament play with a 4 p.m., neutral site contest against Mount Union (Ohio) Friday, Sept. 15.

Contact: Tyler Jester


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