By: Christian Harmon – Staff Writer
The Dayton volleyball team bounced back Saturday from its Friday loss to Baylor to beat Eastern Illinois and Cleveland State 3-1 and 3-0, respectively. The Flyers finished the Dayton Invitational with a 2-1 record, making them 4-5 on the year.
Sophomore setter Jane Emmenecker set the table for the Flyers all day, racking up a total of 94 assists over the two matches, while senior libero Janna Krafka notched dig totals of 15 and 18. Krafka also led the Flyers with three aces against Cleveland State.
Eastern Illinois only successfully challenged the Flyers in the third set in a 24-26 loss with the help of some well-placed kills by Taylor Smith. Cleveland State tried to use soft, located hits to pick apart UD’s defense in their match, but the strategy failed to yield results in their 25-16, 25-21, 27-25 fall to the Flyers.
A couple of other Flyers came to perform on Saturday, including sophomore starting middle blocker Amber Erhahon and senior outside hitter Jenna Jendryk, who came off the bench and recorded eight kills against Cleveland State. Jendryk was named MVP of the invitational and joined redshirt senior middle blocker Angel Agu on the all-tournament team along with Baylor’s Shelly Fanning and Katie Staiger, Cleveland State’s Christina Toth and Eastern Illinois’ Abby Saalfrank.
Erhahon had nine kills against the Vikings, including seven in the decisive third set.
“I thought it was really important to end the weekend on a good note,” Erhahon said. “We’ve just been getting better and better every single day, and I felt like that first loss that we had [against Baylor] definitely set the tone and made us fight a little bit harder for the wins.”
Erhahon also commented on how great it was to play the first few home games of the season.
“Frericks is one of my favorite places to play,” she said. “I love it. The energy was great. The Red Scare is awesome with their cutouts and everything. I just love the atmosphere, and if they can keep doing that every single game, they’ll give us energy even when we’re dead tired and that helps out so much.”
Dayton head coach Tim Horsmon was proud that his team lived up to the challenge of playing two matches in one day.
“It’s tough to turn around and play two in a day, not having that same preparation to do some of those things, but our opponents have to do it too,” Horsmon said. “I think our girls are in very good shape, and they bounced back from a late night last night and had solid matches today.
The Flyers will have five days off before returning to the Frericks Center Friday night to host the Flyer Invitational. Dayton will play Illinois State Friday night at 7 and will play twice again Saturday, facing Jacksonville at 12:30 p.m. and Eastern Michigan at 7 p.m.