RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Freshman setter/outside hitter Kayla Briley (Marion, OH) dished out a team-high 49 assists to go along with nine kills in leading the University of Rio Grande volleyball team to a five-set victory over Cumberland University, Saturday afternoon, in Mid-South Conference action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The win was the second triumph for the RedStorm (12-15 overall, 6-11 MSC) in less than 24 hours and pushes them ahead of Cumberland (14-18, 5-11) for the seventh spot in the conference standings. The top eight teams in the league advance to the conference tournament later this month.
After the two squads divided the first two sets, Rio Grande put together what was perhaps their best set of the afternoon, jumping out to a 13-6 lead after a 7-0 run which broke a 6-6 deadlock.
The RedStorm kept the foot on the accelerator and jumped out to a lead of 21-11 before eventually wrapping up the set with a 25-18 victory to take a 2-1 advantage in the match.
Rio Grande looked to be cruising to a match victory in the fourth set with a seemingly commanding 15-8 lead, but the Bulldogs suddenly came to life and rattled off 14 of the next 19 points to take a 22-20 lead late in the set.
The RedStorm answered back and regained a 23-22 advantage, but CU rallied yet again with the final three points to even the match and force a fifth and deciding set.
Junior outside hitter Betsy Schramm (Marietta, OH) took over in the fifth and final set, notching six of the team’s 10 kills and leading the RedStorm to a match win with a 15-8 set victory.
Rio Grande had a .197 attacking percentage as a team compared to Cumberland’s .101 percentage. The RedStorm hit .444 in the deciding set to end the match.
Schramm led the way for Rio Grande with 16 kills, while freshman defensive specialist Chandler Brown (Beaver, OH) dug out 12 Cumberland attacks.
Leading the way for the Bulldogs was Mackenzie Gass with 11 kills, while Meghan Gass and Laura Peavy had 16 assists and 11 digs, respectively.
Rio Grande is back in action on Tuesday night when they travel to take on Division II foe Kentucky State.
First serve is set for 7 p.m.