Rio volleyball rebounds from loss, batters Rams
by Randy Payton Special to OVP
RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande volleyball team defeated Bluefield College in straight sets on Wednesday evening in Mid-South Conference action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The win marked the fifth victory in the last six matches for the RedStorm (6-10 overall, 2-8 MSC) and put them back on track after a straight-sets loss at St. Catharine on Tuesday night.
“I’ve talked about the depth of our bench before and I think tonight was a great confidence builder for all of our reserves,” said Rio Grande head coach Billina Donaldson. “Sarah Martin had 10 assists for us tonight and that’s huge coming off the bench. We did a lot of good things tonight and I’m excited heading into our matches at Asbury this weekend.”
The RedStorm never trailed in either of the first two sets, breezing to 25-15 and 25-20 wins, respectively.
Rio Grande had an attacking percentage north of .210 for both of the first two sets, while Bluefield registered a negative attacking percentage in both sets.
The final set of the evening kept a back and forth pace throughout, as the Rams notched three consecutive scores to pull within one point of Rio Grande with the count standing at 17-16.
The RedStorm then rattled off an impressive eight straight points to end the match and complete the sweep.
Junior outside hitter Betsy Schramm (Marietta, OH) was the big performer on the night for the RedStorm, recording 12 kills and a .435 attacking percentage.
Freshman setter Kayla Briley (Marion, OH) once again was tops on the team in assists with 24 helpers, while senior defensive specialist Nicole Ogg (Albany, OH) dug out a team-high 14 Ram attacks.
Leading the way statistically for Bluefield (1-13, 0-8) was sophomore Jasmine Morrow with 11 kills. Freshman setter Sydney Spencer recorded 14 assists for the Rams, while sophomore Hannah Winter had a team-high seven digs.
In Rio Grande’s loss at St. Catharine on Tuesday, Schramm once again led the way with eight kills for the match, while Briley chipped in with a 25-assist effort.
Sophomore defensive specialist Dani Brannon (Atwater, OH) led the RedStorm in digs on Tuesday night with 18 to her credit.
Rio Grande is back in action on Saturday when they travel to Asbury College for a tri-match with the host Eagles and West Virginia Tech.
First serve against West Virginia Tech is set for 3 p.m., while the match against Asbury is set to get underway at 5 p.m.
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