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Midway volleyball earns first win of 2017

The Midway University volleyball team earned its first victory of the season on Friday, Aug. 25, when the Eagles opened the campaign with a split on the opening day of the Robert Morris University Eagle Invite. The first match of the day proved to be a "Battle of the Eagles," as Midway battled the host Robert Morris (Ill.). The host Eagles, however, proved to be too much, downing Midway in straight sets, 3-0 (25-10, 25-14, 25-15). In their second match of the day against Moody Bible Institute (Ill.), the Eagles picked up their first win of the season. Midway defeated the Archers 3-1 (25-13, 25-23, 20-25, 25-9). The win against Moody Bible also was the first victory for first-year head coach, Jonea Rima. Rima and the Eagles will look to add to their win total on Saturdaywhen they take on Graceland (Iowa) and Culver Stockton (Mo.). Match 1 - Robert Morris 3, Midway 0 Robert Morris set the tone early in the match after taking the first set 25-10 after hitting .476 in the opening stanza. They slowed down in the final two sets hitting just .140 and .206, but the Eagles didn't help their cause by hitting .000 for the match. Overall, Robert Morris tallied 36 kills in 98 attempts for a .235 hitting percentage, while Midway collected 19 kills in 87 swings. The home Eagles also served up 13 aces to Midway's three. Offensively leading the way was Raquel Bowers and Jennifer Hardin. Bowers finished with eight kills and Hardin added five. Junior, Hannah Payne led the defensive effort with 13 digs, while Courtney George added nine. George also tied the team lead with Ashley Sherrard in assists with eight each. Match 2 - Midway 3, Moodle Bible 1 Midway's fortunes turned around in their second match of the day, as the Eagles picked up their first victory of the season. The Eagles won the first two sets 25-13 and 25-23, but after falling in the third set, 25-20, they dominated in the fourth, 25-9, en route to the 3-1 victory. Overall, the Eagles hit .119 as a team, including a solid .333 hitting clip in the fourth and final set. Midway's defense also stepped it up by collecting 10 blocks and holding the Archers to a .093 hitting percentage. Midway also served up 17 aces in the match. Leading the way was the senior trio of Hardin, Bowers and Tayler Johnson. Hardin had 10 kills, while Johnson added nine kills and a match-high .316 hitting clip. Bowers also finished with seven kills for the match. Hardin added eight digs to her line. Payne once again led the way on the backline defense tying the match high with 22 digs. Sherrard pitched in with seven, while Breanna Baldwin and Courtney George added six each. George and Sherrard both barley missed double-doubles as they tallied 14 and 13 assists, respectively. Payne, George and Sherrard also served up four aces apiece. The Eagles are back in action on Sept. 1 and 2 when they travel to Rio Grande (Ohio) to take part in the Emileigh Cooper Memorial Tournament. Midway's home opener is set for Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. against Kentucky State University.

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