RIO GRANDE, Ohio — No matter the sport, momentum is always a key to victory.
For the University of Rio Grande volleyball team, momentum was a key component in leading them to a fourth straight victory with a straight-set win over the University of Pikeville Monday evening at Newt Oliver Arena.
The RedStorm (5-9, 1-7 Mid-South Conference) overcame a sloppy start early in the first set to dominate through the rest of the match against the Bears.
“I think taking three out of four matches over the weekend really benefitted us tonight,” said Rio Grande head coach Billina Donaldson. “We really learned to win this weekend. The first game was really sloppy and full of errors. Although I wasn’t very impressed with how we played, the win is all that matters to us right now.”
The error-riddled first half went back and forth until the RedStorm rattled off eight of the last 10 points to take the set 25-20.
The first set saw 18 combined errors between the two squads (10 for Rio Grande and eight for Pikeville).
The RedStorm took an early 2-1 lead in the second set and never looked back, as they dominated and took the set in 25-10 fashion.
Rio Grande had 18 kills in the set compared to three errors for an attacking percentage of .484.
After alternating the first 20 points of the third set, the RedStorm rattled a 6-0 run to take a 16-10 advantage and control of the rest of the set, as they finished off the match with a 25-13 victory.
Leading the way for Rio Grande was freshman middle blocker Autumn Snider (Marion, OH), who recorded 12 kills and finished the match with a .500 attacking percentage.
Junior outside hitter Betsy Schramm (Marietta, OH) and sophomore middle blocker Alex Phillips (Williamsport, OH) chipped in the effort with 11 and 10 kills, respectively.
Freshman setter Kayla Briley (Marion, OH) continued to set the pace in the assists department for the RedStorm, as she recorded 37 helpers on the evening.
Senior defensive specialist Nicole Ogg (Albany, OH) did the dirty work and recorded 13 digs for Rio Grande.
Pikeville (9-10 overall, 1-6 MSC) was lead by junior Haley Esquivel with four kills on the evening, while sophomore Sydney Morris had a team-leading eight assists and freshman Dominique Melvin dug out 11 RedStorm attacks.