Patriots deal Rio Grande volleyball fourth straight loss
by Randy Payton Special to OVP
RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Just when it looked like Rio Grande was poised to put itself back in the match, the wheels fell off the RedStorm’s wagon.
Visiting St. Catharine College reeled off 14 straight points to rally from a big third set deficit and the Patriots went on to hand their hosts a 3-0 loss, Friday night, in Mid-South Conference volleyball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The Patriots earned the victory by scores of 25-23, 27-25 and 25-20 to improve to 9-8 overall and 3-3 in conference play.
Rio Grande suffered its fourth straight setback, falling to 1-6 overall and 0-5 against MSC foes.
The RedStorm appeared on their way to extending the match to at least four sets by taking a commanding 15-6 advantage in the third set, but St. Catharine ran off 14 straight points to take the lead and eventually finished off the match.
The late collapse left Rio Grande head coach Billina Donaldson frustrated.
“I’m tired of waiting on experience to happen,” said Donaldson, referring to her team’s roster - half of which is comprised of freshmen. “Being young and not having experience is out the door now as far as an excuse. We’re as good as half the teams we’ve been across the net from and we’ve lost to all of them. I know I have to remain patient, but I’m tired of losing.”
Rio’s third set self-destruction included 11 attack errors after the RedStorm had just seven attack errors in the first two sets combined.
“The thing that fired me up most tonight was the 14-0 run they had on us,” Donaldson said. “We made them aware of what was happening. We made them aware at 10, we made them aware at 12. We have the personnel to get the job done, we just have to find a way for them to see the blood in the water and attack. I guess we have a bunch of nice girls, but I need them to have the mentality of kill, kill, kill.”
St. Catharine was led by Allie Southard’s 14 kills, while Abby Sorrells recorded a match-high 31 assists. Jodie Klein and Rebecca Just added 12 and 10 digs, respectively, while Casey Stone had three service aces.
The Patriots finished the match with a .272 attack percentage.
Rio Grande had a -.111 attack percentage in the final set and a .137 mark for the game.
Junior outside hitter Betsy Schramm (Marietta, OH) led the RedStorm with 11 kills, while freshman setter Kayla Briley (Marion, OH) was credited with 23 assists. Senior defensive specialist Nicole Ogg (Albany, OH) tallied 16 digs, while sophomore defensive specialist Dani Brannon (Atwater, OH) had three service aces.
Rio Grande returns to action on Wednesday, Sept. 25, when MSC pre-season favorite Georgetown College visits the Newt Oliver Arena for a 7 p.m. first serve.
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