MADISON, S.D. – The Ashford University volleyball team returned to action on Friday, Sept. 21, when it traveled west for the 2012 Independent Volleyball Jamboree. The event, made up of teams from the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.), is being hosted by Dakota State University in Madison, S.D. The Saints recorded a split on the opening day of action, falling to thhttp://www.ashfordathletics.com/admin/index.php?action=newsAdde host-Trojans of Dakota State in five sets before sweeping Mayville State.
With the results on Friday, the Saints now stand at 11-7 in 2012.
In the opener, the Saints showed up ready to compete with Dakota State and used a high-powered attack percentage of .303, with 12 kills against just two errors, to take the opening set of the morning match by a 25-16 margin.
While Dakota State answered with a 25-20 win of their own in set two, Ashford rallied right back by holding the Trojans to just 12 points, which included just eight kills in 28 attack attempts, to take the third set 25-12.
Unfortunately, the home team would win a close fourth set, 25-23, before capping off their comeback bid with a 15-12 victory in the fifth.
Sophomore middle hitters Morgan Martells and Danielle Tombolato, along with Tripoli, Iowa-native Micah Wedemeier each put down nine kills during the five-set match. Morrison, Ill.'s Chelsea King added seven offensive points in three sets of work.
Freshman setter Danielle Rzewnicki dished out 18 of AU's 37 assists.
In match two, the Saints looked to avenge a season-opening loss against Mayville State which they did in fine fashion. Ashford notched 15 kills or more in each of the three sets and posted a hitting percentage of .256 as the Saints swept the Comets by set scores of 25-19, 25-20 and 25-13.
Tombolato, King and outside hitter Sarah Garvick each put away nine kills in the winning effort while Mokena, Ill.-native Amanda West chipped in eight.
AU also recorded seven blocks to Mayville State's two and out-killed the Comets, 46-31. Senior setter Liz Gbur handed out a team-best 21 assists.
The Saints return to competition on Saturday when they conclude the event by matching up with another pair of A.I.I. opponents. At 9 a.m., the Saints take on Jamestown College before battling Valley City State University at 11 a.m.
Live stats for both matches will be available by clicking on this link.