RedStorm volleyball opens with pair of losses

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

VIENNA, W.Va. — The University of Rio Grande volleyball team learned a tough lesson on Saturday – sometimes it doesn’t pay to be helpful.

The RedStorm extended a kind hand to a neighbor by being a late stand-in for a tri-match hosted by Ohio Valley University, but suffered losses to both the host Fighting Scots and Notre Dame College at the Snyder Activity Center.

Head coach Billina Donaldson’s squad, which was originally supposed to open its’ regular season schedule next week, agreed to help out OVU on short notice when Bluefield State College pulled out of the event on Friday for a lack of eligible players.

The Fighting Scots posted a 3-1 (24-26, 25-17, 25-15, 25-18) victory in the RedStorm’s first match, while Notre Dame cruised to a 3-0 win by scores of 25-13, 25-15, 25-12.

Rio Grande tallied a .031 attack percentage and had 13 service errors in the opening match loss.

Freshman Ashley Taylor (Chillicothe, OH) led the RedStorm at the net with nine kills, while sophomore Macy Roell (Farmersville, OH) finished with a team-high 26 assists, 12 digs, four blocks (two solo, two assists) and two service aces.

Sophomore Baylee Pursifull (New Carlisle, OH) also had two service aces and three block assists in the loss, while junior Katie Hemsley (Jackson, OH) totaled 11 digs.

Ohio Valley, a member of the NCAA Division II Great Midwest Athletic Conference, got 10 kills each from Carolina Ramirez and Jessica Rafay in the win.

Kanan Fuimaono and Alyssa DeSplinter had 18 assists apiece for the Fighting Scots, while Kaylynn Makimoto had a team-high 18 digs and Yolaine Lopez finished with 14 digs and five service aces.

OVU finished with a .214 attack percentage and had 12 service aces as a team.

Things didn’t get better along the net for Rio Grande against Notre Dame College, as the RedStorm finished with more attack errors (25) than it did kills (20) for a -.048 attack percentage.

Taylor again led the way with six kills in a losing cause, while Roell had 17 assists and 10 digs.

Mary Kate McHugh had a match-high 19 kills in the triumphant effort for NDC, while Paige Staudacher had 31 assists and Alexandra Kaeberlein finished with 16 digs for the Falcons, a member of the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference.

Notre Dame had just 13 attack errors as opposed to 41 kills in the victory.

Rio Grande returns to action next Thursday in its originally scheduled season opener at the University of Pikeville.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

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

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