RedStorm volleyball cruises past Pikeville

Randy PaytonSpecial to OVP

November 1, 2012

PIKEVILLE, Ky. — The University of Rio Grande volleyball team got off to a quick start Monday night and never looked back, cruising to a 3-0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-16) Mid-South Conference win over the University of Pikeville at UPIKE Gymnasium.

The RedStorm improved to 19-8 overall and 10-3 in the MSC with the victory, moving back into a third place tie with Campbellsville in the league standings.

Pikeville, which also dropped a 3-0 decision at Rio on October 2, slipped to 5-24 overall and 0-14 in conference play.

The Bears had nearly as many attack errors (16) as they did kills (21) and managed just a .052 hitting percentage for the contest.

Rio Grande, which substituted freely throughout the match, had 37 kills as opposed to just 10 errors and finished with a solid .329 hitting percentage. The trio of senior middle blocker Erin Sherman, senior outside hitter Whitney Smith and freshman middle blocker Alex Phillps combined for 26 kills, just two errors and a dazzling .605 hitting percentage.

Sherman led the RedStorm with 11 kills and a pair of blocks, while junior setters Kayla Landaker and Kelsey Martin had 17 and 15 assists, respectively. Landaker also had a pair of service aces.

Senior defensive specialist Lauren Raines finished with a team-high 11 digs and three aces in the winning effort.

Brittany Hodge had 10 kills and 12 digs, while Stephanie Dounseroux finished with 18 assists in a losing cause for UPike.

Rio Grande returns to action on Thursday night, hosting Bluefield (Va.) College for “Senior Night”. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m.

The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday night, but was postponed as a result of the winter weather hitting the Bluefield area as part of Hurricane Sandy.

Rio’s three senior players—Raines, Sherman and Smith—will be honored prior to the game.

The game is also being billed as “Campus Resident Appreciation Night”, with a Wal-Mart gift card presented to dormitory with the most residents in attendance. Individual residents from the winning dorm will receive coupons from Zack & Scotty’s.

There will also be trivia throughout the game as part of the promotion, which is being conducted by members of men’s basketball head coach Ken French’s Sports Administration class.