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Huntington wins regular season finale

Staff reports

The Huntington University volleyball team claimed a 3–1 (25–22, 25–16, 20–25, 27–25) regular season finale victory over Bethel in a Crossroads League matchup on Wednesday in Platt Arena.

The victory wrapped up the Foresters’ regular season schedule, finishing with a record of 10–24, including a 6–12 mark in Crossroads League action.

With the Foresters and Pilots entering the match with an identical 5–12 Crossroads League record, the victor would earn the seventh seed in the Crossroads League Tournament, with the loser claiming the eighth and final spot in the field.

Sophomore Brandy Michie paced Huntington’s offensive efforts, recording a match-high 18 kills, four more than the next-closest athlete, Bethel’s Madyson Beaver.

Sophomore Paige Eakright added 11 kills and sophomore Lauren Cresse contributed nine, while the Foresters received eight apiece from freshman Lindsay Ingenito and senior Tailor Schultheis.

“It’s a lot of fun to watch your team playing at a high level and we got to see that tonight,” said head coach Kyle Shondell in a press release. “Brandy found that zone again and when she does she is dangerous. She put up video game numbers tonight. … And when your outside hitters combine for 31 kills and only nine errors, it makes everything else a lot easier.”

Ingenito played a big part of the Huntington defense against the Pilots, logging 2.5 blocks.

Sophomore Ariene Butler led all defenders in the match with 14 digs, five more than the closest Pilot and 11 more than the next-highest Forester total.

Shondell felt the Foresters performed exceptionally well defensively, an encouraging sign at this point of the season.

“Our defense got better as the game wore on, but Bethel never stopped pressuring our weak spots,” Shondell said in the press release. “Ariene did a great job of leading our backcourt and ensuring our defense didn’t break. … I’m thrilled with the effort tonight, but our entire program knows where our focus is now; it’s tourney time and we are playing some of our best volleyball.”

The victory completed Huntington’s season sweep of the Pilots, as the Foresters also defeated Bethel 3–2 on Sept. 19.

With the regular season now in the rearview mirror, Huntington will prepare for the postseason. By defeating Bethel, Huntington will travel to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, on Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. to face the second-seeded Cougars of St. Francis, a team receiving votes in the national poll, in the Crossroads League Tournament Quarterfinals.

Huntington dropped both matches against St. Francis in the regular season, with both matches being determined in a 3–0 fashion by the Cougars.