CLINTON, Iowa - While the end of her four-year career is just around the corner, Ashford University senior outside hitter Kendra King had a fairytale ending to her playing career inside Kehl Arena on Thursday night. Celebrating Senior Night in Clinton, King tied a career-high with 19 kills while blasting six service aces as she powered Ashford to a 3-1 non-conference victory over the University of Dubuque.
McKenzie Thompson added 12 kills while Amanda West also finished in double-figures with 11 kills on 20 attempts.
Ashford came out firing on all cylinders in the opening set of the match. Up 11-9 early on, AU turned up the level of intensity and grabbed 10 of the next 14 points to take total control of the set, 20-13. King and Thompson each notched a pair of kills and a service ace during the run while sophomore Danielle Tombolato put down three kills during the 14 point run.
The Spartans tried to claw back into the match late, but the damage had already been done as Ashford took game one, 25-20.
After the set one dominance, the University of Dubuque took over in the second set until AU once again mounted a large rally. With the Saints down 16-11, the home squad won 14 of the next 18 points to win the set, 25-20.
Thompson was instrumental throughout the run, notching four kills and putting down an ace.
The University of Dubuque never trailed in a close third set, but the Saints rebounded nicely to win the fourth set 25-20 and the match 3-1.
Junior setter Liz Gbur notched a season-best 52 assists in the match while digging 10 Spartan attack attempts. Freshman libero Taylor Boyer led the Saints with 21 digs.
University of Dubuque's Lauren McKissick paced all players with 24 kills.
With the victory, Ashford jumps above .500 once again with an 18-17 record while the University of Dubuque falls to 15-16 overall in 2011.
After an off day, the Saints travel to Milwaukee, Wis. on Saturday to compete in the 2011 Howlin' with the Wolves Invite hosted by Cardinal Stritch University. Ashford will play three matches on Saturday starting with a 1:15 p.m. contest against Calumet College of St. Joseph.
A live video webcast and live stats will be available for the event and links will be provided on Friday.