On Friday, in the first match, Rio Grande (4-4) would lose for the only time on the weekend, dropping a four-game decision to fellow American Mideast Conference South Division foe Ohio Dominican, 30-28, 22-30, 17-30 and 35-37.
Sophomore outside hitter Jessica Rodgers paced the Redwomen with 20 kills. She also added 18 digs on the defensive side. Freshman outside hitter Megan Wills notched 13 kills and nine digs and freshman Kari Rodgers, playing in her first game at the college level, added 10 kills, 23 digs and three block assists. Senior outside hitter Lindsay Urton tallied seven kills and nine digs.
Freshman libero Summer Rinehart led the defense with 34 digs and senior outside hitter Jessica Veach registered 17 digs.
Sophomore setter Randi Rodgers handed out 45 assists.
Rio rebounded with a hard fought five game victory over Ohio Valley University in the second match on Friday, 23-30, 30-20, 30-27, 26-30 and 15-8.
Jessica Rodgers again led the Redwomen with 23 kills, 35 digs and three serve aces. Kari Rodgers added 17 kills, 22 digs and was 17-for-17 serving. Urton followed with 15 kills and 11 digs and Wills had 10 kills.
Randi Rodgers tallied 56 assists while Rinehart had four aces and 35 digs. Veach totaled 18 digs on the defensive end.
On Saturday, Rio gave Marietta its only loss of the weekend, winning in five games, 30-27, 23-30, 16-30, 30-26 and 15-11. Wills led the offense with 16 kills followed by 13 kills each for Jessica and Kari Rodgers while Urton was on the verge of double figures with nine. Jessica Rodgers produced four aces on 13-of-13 serving.
Rinehart played superior defense, coming away with 58 digs. Randi Rodgers dished out 36 assists, tallied 13 digs and was 18-for-18 serving with one ace.
Marietta had three players reach double figures in kills, led by Ellen Doolittle with 19. Jaymi Stephens added 16 and Marissa Barnhart had 11. Caity Shirk registered 53 assists while Casey Davis and Paige Burton led the defense with 36 and 10 digs respectively.
“This was an awesome game,” said Rio Grande head coach Patsy Fields. “We were the only team that beat Marietta, however the way the tournament was set up we didn’t get to play them in the championship.
“So we got 3rd place behind ODU,” Fields added. “My players never quit, I was disappointed that we did not get more players on the All-Tournament team.
“Summer Rinehart made the all-tournament team, but Jess Rodgers deserved it.”
The final game pitted Rio Grande with Ohio Valley again. The Lady Scots are a much improved and gave Rio everything it could handle for a second straight match. Rio won the match in four games, 30-26, 30-26, 26-30 and 30-21.
Urton led the Redwomen with 16 kills followed by Wills with 13, Jessica Rodgers with 12 and Kari Rodgers with 11. Kari also had five aces and nine digs. Wills was a perfect 17-for-17 serving.
Rinehart led the defense with 26 digs. Jessica Rodgers added 14 digs, Veach added 12 and Randi Rodgers tallied 11. Randi also dished out 44 assists.
“My players played their hearts out,” Fields said. “I could not be more pleased than I am right now with my team.
“It was a great weekend for us.”
Rio Grande will open the AMC South season on Tuesday with a home match against Malone. This will be the 2006 home opener for the Redwomen and will begin at 7 p.m. at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Malone won both matches last season against the Redwomen.