RIO GRANDE, Ohio — After a pair of season-opening losses, the University of Rio Grande volleyball team made its first victory of the 2013 campaign a resounding one by routing West Virginia University Tech, 3-0, Wednesday night, at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The RedStorm rolled to the straight sets win by scores of 25-8, 25-16, 25-15 and trailed just five times in the entire match - twice in the opening set and three times in the final set.
“We were able to get everyone some playing time tonight and I thought they all played well,” said Rio Grande head coach Billina Donaldson. “Our back row played well, but our blocking wasn’t as good tonight. I think that had to do with the fact that there wasn’t as much play at the net.”
Junior outside hitter Betsy Schramm (Marietta, OH) and the freshman duo of Chandler Brown (Beaver, OH) and Autumn Snider (Marion, OH) led a balanced Rio attack with six kills each, while fellow freshmen Miranda Clark (Beaver, OH) and Sam Ousley (Wellston, OH) added five kills each.
Brown also recorded a team-high eight digs and three service aces, while freshman Kayla Briley (Marion, OH) accounted for all 26 of the RedStorm’s assists and senior Nicole Ogg (Albany, OH) equaled Brown’s trio of aces.
Rio Grande led just 7-6 in set one before scoring 18 of the final 20 points to get the victory, while enjoying a nine-point lead on six different occasions en route to the set two triumph.
WVU Tech (0-6) led for the better part of the first half of set three, but watched the RedStorm reel off 14 of the final 18 points to settle the match once and for all.
“My biggest fear is that the kids would play down tonight, but they didn’t - not at all,” Donaldson said. “We didn’t do as much, but we did what we needed to do.”
Brianna Clark had six kills in the loss for the Golden Bears, who committed five more attack errors (22) than it recorded kills (17) as a team.
Jaymee Hannah added eight assists and tied teammate Brianna Whaley with two service aces, while Noelle Day was credited with a match-best 13 digs.
Rio Grande returns to action on Saturday with its first road match of the season at Mid-South Conference rival Campbellsville. The Tigers received votes, but missed out on a spot in the NAIA coaches’ preseason Top 25.
Saturday’s first serve is set for 1 p.m.