Bears rally to sweep RedStorm volleyball

PIKEVILLE, Ky. — The University of Pikeville rallied from a third-set deficit, scoring eight of the final nine points in the match to finish off a straight-sets win over the University of Rio Grande on Tuesday night in non-conference volleyball action at UPike Gymnasium.

The Bears improved to 3-4 on the young season by virtue of its 25-23, 25-16, 25-21 triumph.

Rio Grande slipped to 1-4 with the loss.

The RedStorm trailed 10-3 early in the opening set, but eventually drew even at 22-22 before UPike nailed down the win with three of the final four points in the set.

The Bears bolted to a 13-3 advantage in set two and never looked back, but Rio appeared to gain momentum by taking seven-point leads on two occasions in the third set.

The RedStorm, who learned earlier in the day that senior Kylan Strausbaugh of Chillicothe — one of only two seniors on the roster — was lost for the year due to a knee injury, still led by an 18-12 cushion after a kill by freshman Macy Roell, but a kill on the ensuing play by UPike’s Noelani Simpson started a 13-3 run by the Bears to end the match.

Rio Grande finished with just a .034 attack percentage, with senior Aleah Pelphrey of Piketon tallying a team-best eight kills in a losing cause.

Freshman Ryanne Stoffel had eight assists to lead the RedStorm, while sophomore Katie Hemsley — of Jackson — had nine digs and freshman Taylor Carroll had two service aces.

Cassidy Tackett had eight kills to pace UPike, while Savanna Zakman had 21 assists and Brittany Reels tallied 10 digs.

Amari Eadie added six blocks in the winning effort, while Zakman had six of the Bears’ 16 service aces.

Rio Grande returns to action on Friday in the Emileigh Cooper Memorial Tournament at the Newt Oliver Arena.

The RedStorm will face River States Conference rival Midway University in a non-conference meeting at 4 p.m., before closing out the opening round of the two-day event against rival Shawnee State University at 8 p.m.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande