ALLIANCE, Ohio – The Big Red volleyball program opened the 2018 season with a trip to the Mount Union Invitational on Friday night where they fell to the University of Mount Union in straight sets, 3-0.
Following a 3-0 win for the Purple Raiders earlier in the day against the College of Wooster, the Big Red stayed tight with Mount Union in the first set, taking a 15-14 advantage thanks to multiple kills from senior Isabella Pivec and freshman Payton McElfresh. Despite a block from Pivec that brought DU within two, 21-19, the Purple Raiders ended the first set with a 25-21 victory.
After dropping the second set, kills by Katie Aucamp and a service ace by Julia Miller helped Denison take an 8-6 lead early in the third set. The advantage grew for the Big Red after Aucamp and freshman Marija Pavlick capitalized on service aces to lead 19-16, but four-straight points from Mount Union's Madelin DiBease, Maria Ellesin, and Breanna Arnett allowed the Purple Raiders to end the night with a 25-23 victory.
Sophomore Emma Woerner led DU with six kills, while Aucamp tallied a team-high 11 digs. Miller and McElfresh tied for a team-best 10 assists to pace the Big Red.
Mount Union's Kyleigh Jackson led all players with 12 kills, while Carly Stepic posted 34 assists.
The Big Red will return to the Mount Union Invitational on Saturday, September 1 where they will play UMass-Boston at 10 a.m., followed by a 12 p.m. matchup with Thiel College.