Rival Bears outlast Rio in MSC volleyball opener

Randy PaytonSpecial to OVP

September 6, 2012

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio – Shawnee State survived a trio of match points in the fifth and deciding set and rallied to outlast the University of Rio Grande, 3-2, in Mid-South Conference volleyball action, Wednesday night, at the James A. Rhodes Athletic Center.

Each of the final three sets in the match went to extra points, with the Bears finally prevailing in the end 25-20, 15-25, 28-26, 29-31, 17-15.

Rio Grande (3-2 overall, 0-1 MSC) held leads of 4-2, 8-5 and 14-11 in the final set, but SSU snuffed out three straight match points for the RedStorm to knot the score at 14-14. After trading points to tie the game again at 15-all, the Bears got a kill and a block to culminate the rally and seal the win.

Senior outside hitter Whitney Smith and sophomore middle blocker Betsy Schramm had 19 and 10 kills, respectively, in the loss, while senior middle blocker Erin Sherman was credited with 13 blocks.

Senior libero Lauren Raines had a match-best 44 digs, while junior setters Kelsey Martin and Kayla Landaker had 17 and 16 assists, respectively. Sophomore middle blocker Morgan Daniels also had 11 blocks.

Shawnee State (4-1, 1-0) got 12 kills from Paige Zelich, while Alex Pohl and Ashley Galbraith had 11 kills apiece. Hannah Gephart added 22 assists and 11 digs for the Bears, while Carly Mazza had a team-high 23 assists and Kirsti Yates chipped in with a club-best 29 digs.

Madison Smith added 17 digs for the SSU.

Rio Grande returns to action on Friday and Saturday, traveling to Pittsburgh, Pa. for Point Park University’s Pioneer Invitational. The RedStorm will face the University of Northwestern Ohio on Friday at 4 p.m. and the host Pioneers immediately afterward at 6 p.m., while also tangling with Asbury (Ky.) on Saturday at noon and West Liberty (W.Va.) State University at 4 p.m.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande. For more information on URG athletics, visit the web at