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Double-doubles help Eagles win home finale

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Chadron State freshman Amber Harvey passes the ball during the Eagles’ rousing win over the Westminster Griffins during a three-hour marathon in the Chicoine Center on Saturday night.

Setter Audrey Bennett and hitters Amelia Berg and Rylee Greiman each earned double-doubles Saturday night while helping the Chadron State College volleyball team defeat RMAC rival Westminster from Salt Lake City in a thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind triumph that took three hours to complete.

To earn a double-double in a match, a player must reach double digits in two of five statistical categories: aces, kills, blocks, digs, and assists. Bennett had 15 digs and a whopping 57 assists, Berg came away with 18 kills and 25 digs and Greiman finished with 12 kills and 29 digs.

Another Eagle who had a season-best performance was senior outside hitter Alli Keisel. She put up eight kills and had only two errors in 16 attempts for a .375 hitting percentage.

The Griffins won set one 26-24 and set two 25-22 and were looking to sweep the Eagles in set three, which featured 15 ties and eight lead changes. At the start of the this set, Coach Jennifer Stadler switched Greiman from libero to outside hitter.

Taking over the libero duties was defensive specialist Aracely Hernandez, who had a season-high 22 digs. After the teams traded points throughout the set, Berg and Greiman landed back-to-back kills off Bennett’s sets to win 30-28. The Eagles were still alive.

Set four featured Greiman's best offensive attacks, consisting of four kills and only one error out of 13 hits. Though the set had six ties and three lead changes, the Eagles kept their momentum going from the previous thriller to win 25-23.

The Eagles put everything together in set five, coming away with nine kills and only two errors out of 20 attempts for a .350 team hitting percentage. That high percentage can be attributed in part to Berg landing three kills in four attempts. Like the two previous sets, there were multiple ties and lead changes with the winning point coming from a Greiman kill off a perfect set by Bennett.

Coach Jennifer Stadler’s team won set five 15-13 and the match 3-2. It was a great way to close out the final home date.

“We played with a lot of heart and had some players step up at big moments," Stadler said. "[Audrey], Amelia, and Rylee did a great job of playing the roles their team needed."

The team’s four seniors—Berg, Hernandez, Kiesel and Kincaid Strain--were recognized prior to the match.

The Eagles also played some good volleyball Friday night against powerhouse Colorado Mesa, but were swept by the Mavericks—25-18, 25-13, 27-25. Mesa ended the match with an 18-4 overall record and 13-2 in the conference.

Some excellent blocking by the hosts helped make the third set a nail-biter. Amber Harvey and Allie Ferguson each had two solo blocks. Both Bennett and Keisel had four assisted blocks in the match.

Another highlight Friday saw freshman middle hitter Aiyana Fujiyama record the Eagle record their 10th best hitting percentage all-time in a three-set match, when she had six kills and no hitting errors in 10 attempts.

Now 5-21 for the season, the Eagles will conclude their season this weekend while taking on South Dakota Mines in Rapid City at 5 p.m. Friday and Black Hills State in Spearfish at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

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