URG volleyball splits pair

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

KOKOMO, Ind. — The University of Rio Grande volleyball team moved closer to the 20-win mark for the season by dividing a pair of Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matches on Saturday.

The RedStorm suffered a 3-1 (25-10, 25-15, 23-25, 25-8) loss to host – and KIAC leader – Indiana University-Kokomo in their opener, before rebounding to post a 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-23) win over Carlow University at Cougar Gymnasium.

IU-Kokomo, which also posted a 3-0 win over Carlow in the final match of the day, finished the triangular at 29-2 overall and 10-0 in the KIAC. The Cougars have won 19 straight outings.

Rio Grande finished the day at 19-7 overall and 5-4 in league play, while the Celtics dropped to 15-15 overall and 3-6 in the conference after the two losses.

In its opening match, Rio Grande finished with more attack errors (34) than it had kills (29) for the second time in three outings. The RedStorm finished with a -.031 attack percentage.

Conversely, the Cougars had 50 kills against 17 attack errors and a .223 attack percentage. IU-K also tallied 22 block assists as a team.

Sophomore Aleah Pelphrey (Piketon, OH) had nine kills to pace Rio in the loss, while junior Kayla Briley (Marion, OH) had a match-high 25 assists to go along with 11 digs and a pair of block assists.

Junior Chandler Brown (Stockdale, OH) had a match-best 31 digs in the loss, while redshirt freshman Brooke Bostelman (Kenton, OH) and freshman Trista Lackey (Jacksonville, OH) had 12 and 10 digs, respectively.

Alexis Brickner had 13 kills and four blocks to lead Kokomo, while Lindi Thomas had 12 kills and a team-high 22 digs. Cortney Hanson had 24 assists and 17 digs, while Kaleigh Ensley and Rachel Allen had 19 digs each and Nicole Sandmann finished with six block assists.

Against carlow, the RedStorm overcame a shaky start to win in convincing fashion. Rio committed 22 attack errors in the victory, 11 of which came in the opening set.

Junior Autumn Snider (Marion, OH) and senior Alex Phillips (Orient, OH) finished with 12 and 11 kills, respectively, while Briley had 28 assists and 16 digs. Brown led Rio with 22 digs.

Carlow got 12 kills and 18 digs from Carly Bonk, while Kristina Hudson had 11 kills and Kelsey Bonk had 19 digs. Ashley Grooms added 14 assists in a losing cause.

Rio Grande returns to action on Monday night with a trip to Asbury University. First serve is set for 7 p.m.

The Eagles bring a 19-10 mark overall and 7-1 ledger in league play into the contest.

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

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing