The Hiram College volleyball team concluded their North Coast Athletic Conference regular season, picking up a big, 3-1 road victory over Kenyon College on Saturday afternoon.
The win for the Terriers moved the team to 17-3 overall, but more importantly, secured the third seed in the upcoming NCAC Championship Tournament.
The victory moved Hiram to 6-2 in the conference, just one game behind DePauw for second, but the Tigers own the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Terriers, meanwhile, are now one loss clear of the rest of the field for the third-place spot in the tournament, and will earn an opening-round bye.
The match did not start in the visitor's favor as Kenyon jumped out to an early lead in the first set. The Ladies would stave off a late-set comeback by the Terriers, taking the opening game 25-23.
After dropping the opening set for just the fourth time this season, the Terriers responded with a vengeance, holding Kenyon to just four kills and a hitting percentage of .000 in the second.
Hiram opened the set on a 10-4 run, getting four kills in a row from Kayla Cole in the opening four points. Hiram would ride the momentum to a 12-point win in the set, knotting the match 1-1.
The Terriers rattled off 16 kills in the second set, led by seven from Cole. Overall, the Terriers hit .282 in the second game.
Hiram's offense would be even more efficient over the final two sets, hitting .400 in the third and .326 in the fourth.
In the third game, Hiram again ran out to a commanding lead, jumping out to an 11-4 advantage in forcing both of Kenyon's timeouts. They would take the third by a nine-point margin.
The fourth and final set saw the Terriers hold off a late push by the Ladies. Kenyon cut a six-point Hiram lead down to one (20-19), but Hiram scored five of the set's last seven points to take a 25-21 win, and the match 3-1.
Cole and Kiara Franks paced the Terriers in the victory, combining for 31 kills while committing just six errors. Cole tallied 20 for the second time this season, while Franks posted 11 kills, hitting .556.
Following the victory over the Ladies, the Terriers took on NAIA opponent, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, defeating the Cougars, 3-2.
The five-set thriller marked the third of the season for the Terriers. They have won all three that have gone to a fifth game.
To win the match, Hiram took sets one and three by identical 25-21 scores, before snatching set five, 15-11.
Once again, Cole was the catalyst for the offense, tallying 19 kills and posting a double-double with 14 digs.
Madison Fortune finished the match 13 kills, while Walker once again posted a double-double with 13 kills and 15 digs.
Hoffman was on her game once again, tallying 53 assists and 14 digs, her 11th-straight double-double.
Hiram will be back in non-conference action on Wednesday, October 24, as they travel to Cleveland for a matchup with Case Western Reserve University. The match with the Spartans is scheduled for 7 p.m.