Northern Kentucky volleyball faltered against Sacramento State and Bowling Green to conclude the NKU Invitational, falling to the Hornets in four sets and the Falcons in five. The Norse dip to 4-2 on the season, while Sac State advanced to 6-5 and Bowling Green moved on to 3-5. Junior outside hitter Haley Libs was named to the all-tournament team.

NKU vs. Sacramento State Match Report

First Set Summary
· The Norse had a sluggish start to the match, hitting .054 while the Hornets connected at a .355 clip. NKU was not far off Sac State in the kills count, but six more hitting errors plagued the Norse ultimately in the 25-18 setback.
· Haley Libs had a modest leader mark with three kills, while Ashton Terrill paced the back-row effort with five digs.

Second Set Summary
· NKU kept its error count relatively high, but also forced Sacramento State into more errors as well to hold the Hornets to .164 offensively. The set went back-and-forth, but the Hornets pulled away at the 11-11 point courtesy of multiple Norse miscues.
· The Norse fought back to tie it up at 21-21 and pushed extra points in the frame, but Sac State pulled away for a 26-24 win.
· Libs and Laura Crawford led the way with five and four kills, respectively, and the duo also had an impressive showing defensively with seven and six respective digs.

Third Set Summary
· NKU prevented the sweep and showed more poise after the intermission, claiming a 25-18 victory in the third set fueled by a .303 hitting percentage while holding Sac State to .050.
· Crawford contributed six kills at a .308 clip while Libs added four kills on six swings to go with five more digs.
· NKU’s block came up big, with Georgia Childers leading the team with four block assists while Drew Hendricks chipped in three.

Fourth Set Summary
· The fourth frame was similar to the second, as NKU kept the Hornets to a low .042 hitting percentage but also committed 11 errors and hit .000. Crawford had five kills and five digs while Libs had three kills and five digs, and the Norse saw strong defensive efforts out of Terrill (six digs) and Shelby Olsen (four digs).
· NKU made a valiant effort to push a fifth set towards the end of the frame as Childers served two-straight aces, but facing five match points proved to be too much for the Norse as the Hornets sealed the victory, 25-23.

Norse Notes
· For the second-straight match, three Norse recorded double-doubles. Crawford had a match-high 18 kills along with 16 digs, Libs had 13 kills and 19 digs, and Olsen dished out 39 assists to go with a career-best 15 digs.
· Terrill also recorded a new career high, scooping up 19 digs.
· Both Childers and Hendricks recorded four blocks, while Childers and McKenzie Eskridge notched a pair of aces each.
· NKU was held under .100 for the first time this season, hitting .097, while Sac State connected at a .144 clip.
· The Norse had 87 digs in the contest, and the Hornets had 81 digs. The last time NKU played a match in which both teams had over 80 digs in a match was on Nov. 18, 2016 in the Horizon League quarterfinals against Valparaiso, in which both squads registered well over 100 digs apiece.

NKU vs. Bowling Green Match Report

First Set Summary
· NKU fell behind early in the opening set, trailing by as many as nine points before Libs and Childers led an offensive strike coupled with a few key BGSU eerrors to come within three points.
· NKU faced four set points, but dropped the opener, 25-22.
· Crawford recorded four kills and five digs, while Terrill added seven digs on the defensive end.

Second Set Summary
· Bowling Green did not jump out to as much of a lead in the second set, but maintained an advantage throughout the second frame nonetheless.
· Once again, a late run allowed the Norse to close the gap before two consecutive blocks by the Falcons closed it out, 25-23.
· NKU enjoyed a balanced attack, led by Kelly Turner with five kills on eight swings, while Libs and Crawford added four and three respective kills.
· The Norse hit .303, but the Falcons were hotter on offense with a .436 hitting percentage, recording kills on 21 of their 25 points.

Third Set Summary
· Coming out of the intermission, Crawford and Western led the way with .500 hitting percentages. Crawford had six kills to go with six digs, while Western added four kills.
· Terrill had a strong defensive set, with eight digs, as the Norse hit .350 to take down BGSU, 25-16.

Fourth Set Summary
· NKU pushed a fifth set with a 25-21 win in the fourth, going point-for-point until the 19-19 mark when Olsen went on a serving run as the team capitalized on BGSU errors.
· BGSU had its lowest hitting percentage of the match at .056, thanks in large part to net presence from the Norse.
· Childers recorded five blocks in the frame, while Turner added three to lead the way on the front line.
· In the back row, Terrill had nine digs while Libs added seven and Olsen had six. Turner was NKU’s top offensive option, taking 15 swings and terminating five.

Fifth Set Summary
· The team could not keep the momentum going in the deciding set, falling 15-8 as the Falcons hit .438 with nine kills on 16 swings.

Norse Notes
· Crawford and Olsen recorded their third-straight double-doubles, with Crawford leading all attackers with 16 kills to go with 17 digs while Olsen set new career bests with 53 assists and 17 digs.
· Turner had her first double-digit kills match of the season, with 11, while Western was just off the mark with nine kills at a .300 clip. Childers and Libs chipped in eight kills apiece.
· Terrill posted the first 20-dig match of her career, with 24. Libs and McKenzie Eskridge also had double-dig performances with 14 and 10, respectively.
· NKU hit .186 for the match while BGSU hit .212.
· Once again, both teams recorded more than 80 digs, with NKU holding the edge 89-85. The Norse also out-blocked the Falcons, 11.5-9.0.
Up Next
· The Norse head to Gainesville, Fla. for a tournament rife with talent at the Gator Invitational on Sept. 15-16. Host school Florida is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation while Lipscomb is receiving votes in the latest AVCA poll, and Florida A&M rounds out the field.

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Chloe Smith
Assistant Athletic Communications Director
Northern Kentucky University

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