URG volleyball tops Trailblazers

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande used momentum-swinging scoring spurts in each of the first two sets and an early third set rally to post a 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-20) win over Ohio Christian University, Thursday night, in Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference volleyball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.

The RedStorm improved to 18-6 overall and 4-3 in the KIAC with the victory.

Ohio Christian slippped to 10-17 overall and 4-7 inside the league with the loss.

Rio Grande reeled off eight straight winners in set one to snap an early 4-4 tie and the Trailblazers got no closer than four points of tying the set the rest of the way.

The RedStorm led just 10-9 nearing the midway point of set two, but scored nine of the next 10 points to pull away once and for all.

OCU grabbed an 8-2 to begin set three, but Rio went on a 7-1 run to knot the score at 9-9 and added another 7-1 run to erase a 12-11 deficit and take the lead for good. The RedStorm had 17 of their 38 kills for the match in the final set.

Junior Kayla Briley (Marion, OH) had 25 assists and 17 digs to lead Rio in the win, while sophomore Aleah Pelphrey (Piketon, OH) had a team-high 10 kills and junior Chandler Brown (Stockdale, OH) equaled Briley’s 17-dig effort.

Sophomore Kylan Strausbaugh (Kingston, OH) added 13 digs in the victory, while junior Autumn Snider (Marion, OH) had five blocks – all solos.

Ohio Christian was led by Megan Morrison’s nine kills and four blocks. Virginia Keppler had nine assists for the Trailblazers, who had just an .032 attack percentage.

Karee Neff and Olivia Davis added 17 and 14 digs, respectively, for OCU.

Rio Grande returns to action on Saturday in a KIAC triangular hosted by Indiana University-Kokomo. The RedStorm will face the host Cougars at noon, before squaring off with Carlow University at 2 p.m.

IU-Kokomo, which received votes in the coaches’ Top 25 poll for the second straight week, is 26-2 overall and 8-0 in league play. The Cougars are currently riding a 16-match winning streak.

Carlow is 15-13 overall and 3-4 in the KIAC. The Celtics haven’t played since a home win over WVU-Tech on Oct. 13.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing