Volleyball Championship Scoreboard (Quarterfinals)
(5) Youngstown State 3, (4) Green Bay 2 (25-21, 23-25, 17-25, 25-17, 15-11)
(6) Cleveland State 3, (3) Oakland 1 (25-22, 22-25, 28-26, 25-20)
The 2013 Horizon League Volleyball Championships got underway on Friday night with two action-packed quarterfinal matches.
The evening began with fifth-seed Youngstown State battling back for a 3-2 win over fourth-seed Green Bay. The Phoenix had swept YSU last week, but the Penguins were the aggressive team early, capturing the opening set to take the early lead. Green Bay bounced back to win the second set and then dominated the third set to take a 2-1 lead. But Youngstown State evened the match with a strong fourth set to force a fifth set and then never trailed in the final frame to advance to the semifinals. The win marked the first time since 2004 that Youngstown State won a Horizon League volleyball tournament game.
In the second match, sixth-seed Cleveland State defeated third-seed Oakland, 3-1, to advance to the semfinals. The Vikings jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first set and never looked back in winning the first set. Oakland rebounded to take the second set to tie the match. In the third set, the Golden Grizzlies held a 24-20 lead, but allowed the Vikings to score four consecutive points to tie the match at 24. The Vikings went on to win the set, 28-26, to take a 2-1 lead. Oakland rebounded in the fourth set, taking an early 5-2 lead, but six consecutive Cleveland State points gave the Vikings a lead in the set that they would never reliniquish.Saturday's semifinal matches pit Cleveland State against top-seed and host Milwaukee at 4:30 p.m. CT and Youngstown State versus second-seed Valparaiso at 7 p.m. CT.
(5) Youngstown State 3, (4) Green Bay 2
Alexis Egler tied her career high with 18 kills, and the Youngstown State volleyball team rallied to beat Green Bay 25-21, 23-25, 17-25, 25-17, 15-11, in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament on Friday at the Klotsche Center.
Youngstown State will advance to the tournament semifinals against either top-seeded Milwaukee or second-seeded Valparaiso, while Green Bay's season ends with a record of 14-14. The Penguins won a Horizon League Tournament match for the first time since 2004.
In support of Egler, Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year Jenna Cavanaugh showed off her offensive skills with 11 kills on a .476 attack percentage. Aly Ryan was in on eight of Youngstown State's 12 blocks, and Erika West's 18 digs were one shy of Egler's total for team-high honors. Casey D'Ambrose had 29 assists.
Shannon Hurley had a match-high 20 kills, and Jillian Bauer posted a match-high 24 digs for Green Bay.
Green Bay led by two on three occasions early in the first set, including 4-2 on a kill from setter Emily Riese. Nichele Johnson's kill gave the Penguins a side out, and YSU proceeded to go on a 12-3 run to go ahead 14-7. The Phoenix called both of their timeouts during the run, and the second one allowed them to reclaim some momentum. Green Bay scored the next three points and got within one at 17-16 on a Mikaela Gunderson kill.
Youngstown State never lost the lead, and an Egler kill started a 3-0 run to make the score 20-16. Green Bay got within two at 22-20 and 23-21 before a Green Bay serving error and a Watson kill finished the set at 25-21.
Neither team led by more than two in the second set until the Phoenix scored four consecutive points to go ahead 13-10. The Penguins later scored three straight points to go back on top 20-19 and force a Green Bay timeout after an Egler kill. The score was tied three more times, the final time at 22, before Green Bay scored three of the final four points of the set. Hurley had kills on each of the Phoenix's final three points. Egler had nine kills in the set, and the Penguins outhit the Phoenix .438 to .361 in the second set in the setback.
After Youngstown State tied the third set at 1-1, Green Bay scored nine straight points to go up 10-1 and led comfortably the rest of the way. The Penguins were able to trim the deficit to 14-7 and force a timeout, but they were never able to get closer than seven.
The fourth set was also close early until YSU pulled away midway through. With the score tied 10-10, the Penguins went on a 10-4 run to go up 20-14. Green Bay scored the next two points before YSU ended the set by scoring five of the final six points.
Youngstown State never trailed in the fifth set, but Green Bay certainly didn't make it easy. The margin was just one 10 times, including 11-10. Cavanaugh's kill started the final run for the Penguins, and she added another one to give them match point. Egler put the match away with her 18th kill.
(6) Cleveland State 3, (3) Oakland 1
For the 10th straight season the Cleveland State volleyball team will be playing in the Horizon League semifinals, as the Vikings earned a 3-1 victory over No. 3 seed Oakland in a first round contest. Cleveland State, who entered the tournament as the No. 6 seed, will now face top-seeded Milwaukee tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 23) at 5:30 p.m. EST.
The Vikings (16-12) had two players post double-digit kills against Oakland - Christina Toth who tied her career-high with 14 and Grace Kauth who tallied 11. Kerry Winchester and Maggie Hannon each added nine kills for the Vikings. The CSU defense was led by four players in double-digits – Nikki Holmes (22), Kauth (14), Winchester (13), and Dayna Roberts (10). Annie Djukic and Roberts split setting duties, Djukic with 24 helpers and Roberts with 20.
Set scores against the Grizzlies were 25-20, 22-25, 28-26, 25-20.
During the opening set, CSU was able to get out to a quick 4-0 lead with a pair of Oakland errors, a Kauth kill and a Holmes service ace. The Vikings then held the lead for the remainder of the set, holding off a tough OU team. CSU was able to hold its four-point lead early on, gaining an 8-4 advantage with back-to-back kills from Winchester and Roberts. The Vikings were then able to extend their lead at 17-12, with an Oakland error, and added to it two points later with a Kelly Kiger kill. After Oakland came within one point at 23-22, Cleveland State was able to close out the frame with two straight points, capitalizing on Oakland misplays.
After dropping the second set, the Vikings stayed strong during the third frame, earning a come-from-behind victory. The two teams traded points throughout the start of the frame, until Oakland gained control with a 5-1 run to put the score at 19-15. The Vikings were able to climb their way back in the match though, and held off six Oakland set-points during the final stretch of the frame. CSU got four straight points to tie the score at 24-24 on a trio of Oakland errors and block from Toth and Kiger, and traded points over the next four plays, before finally putting the frame away with kills from Winchester and Aaliyah Slappy.
During the fourth and final frame, the two teams traded points throughout the first part of the set until Cleveland State went on a 7-2 run to gain a 19-12 advantage. With the momentum on their side, the Vikings were eventually able to close out the set on a Toth kill – her 14th of the match and sixth of the set.