BECKLEY, W.Va. — As the 2019 regular season enters its final week, things are becoming more and more interesting in terms of whether the University of Rio Grande will qualify for the River States Conference Volleyball Championship.
The RedStorm suffered a fourth straight loss Tuesday night, dropping a 3-1 (25-22, 20-25, 25-17, 25-16) decision to West Virginia University-Tech at Van Meter Gymnasium.
Rio Grande slipped to 16-14 overall and 4-10 in league play with the loss, while its lead over Ohio Christian University for the fourth and final playoff spot in the RSC’s East Division dwindled to just one game with two games remaining.
The Golden Bears avenged an earlier loss to the RedStorm, improving to 20-10 overall and 9-5 inside the RSC.
Tech grabbed the early match lead by scoring five of the final seven points in the opening set, while Rio had eight of the final 11 winners in set two to even things up.
In set three, the RedStorm trailed just 11-8 after a service ace from sophomore Jess Youse (Pettisville, OH), but the Golden Bears countered with six consecutive points and 11 of the next 14 to win going away.
Tech trailed just once in the final set, 1-0, and pulled away for good down the stretch with a 6-1 run which produced a 22-14 lead and an eventual match victory.
Katelyn Byrd had 14 kills to lead the Golden Bears, while Brooklyn Cook and Carolina Bologna added 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Bologna also had three service aces, one solo block and five block assists.
Konstantina Pateli tallied 36 assists for Tech, while Michaella Guyot-Polverini had 11 of her own and Sawyer Hawgood was credited with 25 digs.
Junior Macy Roell (Farmersville, OH) had 38 assists to lead Rio Grande, while also tallying 11 digs, a solo block and two block assists. Freshman Malorie Colwell (London, OH) had a match-best 15 kills and 11 digs of her own in a losing cause, while senior Katie Hemsley (Jackson, OH) had 13 digs and Youse also finished with a solo block and two block assists.
Rio Grande returns to action on Friday night when it hosts Cincinnati Christian University following the last of four Bevo Francis Invitational basketball games.
First serve is scheduled for approximately 8 p.m. at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.