RIO GRANDE, Ohio — For the University of Rio Grande volleyball team, the third time was, in fact, a charm.
The RedStorm avenged a pair of earlier losses to rival Shawnee State University by posting a 25-20, 14-25, 25-22, 25-16 win over the Bears on Senior Night at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Rio Grande, which honored senior middle blocker Alex Phillips (Orient, OH) prior to the match, improved to 17-5 with the victory – its 12th triumph in the last 14 outings.
Shawnee State lost for the third straight time and the fifth time in six outings, falling to 11-12.
Rio bolted to a 14-4 lead in set one and Shawnee State got no closer than four, 24-20, the rest of the way.
The Bears returned the favor in set two, scoring the first 10 points and leading by no less than seven points for the remainder of the set.
The RedStorm snapped a 15-all tie in set three with a 5-1 run to pull away and used a 9-4 spurt in set four to build a 20-12 lead and go on to the match win.
Rio Grande, which had 10 of its 21 attack errors in the disasterous second set, finished with a .171 attack percentage for the match – including a .342 mark (16 kills, 3 errors, 38 attacks) in the final stanza.
Sophomore Aleah Pelphrey (Piketon, OH) had 12 kills to lead Rio, while junior Kayla Briley (Marion, OH) had 37 assists and 15 digs in the winning effort.
Junior Chandler Brown (Stockdale, OH) had a team-high 31 digs for the RedStorm, while redshirt freshman Brooke Bostelman (Kenton, OH) added 12 digs of her own. Junior Autumn Snider (Marion, OH) finished with a match-high six blocks (5 solos, 1 assist).
Lauren Helbig and Ashley Galbraith had 14 and 11 kills, respectively, to lead Shawnee State, while Bonnie Huesing equaled Briley’s match total of 37 assists. Helbig also had a team-high five blocks, all assists.
Madsion Smith finished with 26 digs to lead the Bears, while teammates Cassidy Shell and Rhyanna Day added 17 and 12, respectively.
Rio Grande returns to action on Wednesday night, taking on the University of Charleston (WV) at Charleston Catholic High School. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
The Golden Eagles bring a 10-8 record into the contest following a 3-2 win at home over Shepherd University last Saturday.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.