The Eagles found themselves in a double-header on Oct. 25 in the Luce Center. In game one against Indiana University Kokomo, Asbury could not find the right rhythm to get going, resulting in a four-set loss (25-23; 25-16; 12-25; 25-15).
The Eagles finished the first set only trailing by two points, and fought a hard battle from there. The second set started off in favor of Asbury with an IUK serve straight into the net. The score tied up four different times until 6-6 all when IUK gained their momentum, keeping Asbury scoreless for another nine points and leading to another set loss for the Eagles.
Set three started off brighter for the Eagles. Asbury’s eighth point forced an IUK time out, and the Eagles kept their intensity to end the set with a win. Set four showed a rough start for the Eagles and this atmosphere held throughout the entire game. There was no point where Asbury held the lead, and upon finishing set four the Eagles record moved to 31-8 overall and 7-1 in conference play.
Head coach JP Rader had this to say, “It was a disappointing loss, and we tried very well the entire match. We came out with a good start but struggled for the rest of the time. It was the first set loss that really made it difficult for us to come back. From then on it was an up-hill struggle. We are still in a good position in the league, this being our only loss. From here we control our destiny.”
In the second match of the day was also the final home match of the season against for the Eagles. Against Alice Lloyd College, there was a massive change in team AU. It only took three straight sets (25-10; 25-6; 25-16) to get the win and move their record to 32-8 on the season.
With Alice Lloyd taking control early in set one, senior Sarah Sterling entered the game after Asbury’s second point and swung momentum her team’s way. The senior player brought with her a vocal presence that carried the team. Asbury kept ALC from advancing in scoring for eleven straight points, easily taking control of game one. Game two was also another easy win, as they kept the opposing team in single digits. By utilizing the bench and through constant rotation, many Asbury players saw meaningful minutes.
Junior Morgan Newman was a solid player for the Asbury Eagles all throughout the second set. Leading into what would be the final set for Asbury at home this season, we saw our seniors give a heartwarming chant to intensify the game. ALC showed solid play throughout the third set but still was no match for Asbury.
On her final home match in her senior season at Asbury, Sarah Sterling earned the point that would end the game, a moment she will not soon forget.
“I loved it!” Said Sterling after the game, “That final point is exactly how I wanted to end it! It felt so good to play with my senior class for our last home game together. This season has been an amazing experience, and I am sad to say I will not be playing at Asbury any longer with my teammates.”