Pioneers roll to sweep of RedStorm

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

RIO GRANDE, Ohio — With River States Conference East Division rival Point Park serving as the opposition for a third time this season, there was nothing charmed for the University of Rio Grande volleyball team.

The visiting Pioneers started fast and never looked back en route to a 25-14, 27-25, 25-16 over the RedStorm, Friday night, at the Newt Oliver Arena.

Point Park improved to 17-7 overall and 7-3 in league play with the win, completing a regular season sweep of Rio Grande in the process.

The RedStorm had a modest two game winning streak snapped, falling to 15-10 overall and 3-7 in the RSC.

Rio never led in the opening set, but trailed just 13-10 before the Pioneers ran off nine straight winners to blow things open.

The RedStorm enjoyed a 19-15 lead in set two, but came up on the short end of a wild see-saw finish.

Point Park rallied for a 24-22 advantage before a trio of consecutive kills – two by junior Rachael Gilkey (Nelsonville, OH) and another by senior Kinnison Donaldson (Jackson, OH) – gave Rio a 25-24 lead and put the RedStorm within a point of evening the match.

However, the Pioneers rebounded again to score the final three winners and take the set.

Set three – like the opening period – belonged to the visitors as well, with Point Park leading from nearly start to finish. The only exception was a brief 1-1 tie at the start of the stanza.

Point Park committed just nine attack errors on 107 swings at the net and finished with a .271 attack percentage.

Maria Ferragonio had a match-high 10 kills to pace the Pioneers, while Julia Menosky tallied 25 assists and Ashley Castelli finished with 24 digs.

Ferragonio also had 12 digs in the winning effort, while Haley English had 10 digs and a match-best three service aces.

Rio Grande got seven kills each from Gilkey and sophomore Jess Youse (Pettisville, OH), while junior Macy Roell (Farmersville, OH) finished with 16 assists and 14 digs and senior Katie Hemsley (Jackson, OH) had a team-best 16 digs.

Donaldson finished with 10 digs of her own in a losing cause, while junior Baylee Pursifull (New Carlisle, OH) had a pair of block assists.

The RedStorm finished with just a .075 attack percentage, with 24 kills and 15 errors in 120 attempts.

Rio Grande returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Carlow University for Senior Day.

First serve is slated for noon.

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.