RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Brescia University’s visit to the Newt Oliver Arena started slow, but finished fast.
The Bearcats rallied from an early deficit in set one, cruised through set two and pulled away in set three for a sweep of the University of Rio Grande, Saturday afternoon, in River States Conference volleyball action.
The 25-22, 25-19, 25-16 win pushed the ‘Cats to 16-15 overall and 6-5 in conference play.
Rio Grande dropped to 6-19 overall and 2-10 inside the RSC as a result of a fifth straight loss.
The RedStorm remained two games behind Carlow University for the fourth and final post-season berth out of the RSC East Division with four league games left to play.
Rio jumped to a 4-1 lead to open the match and led for much of the opening stanza, but the visitors rallied late and scored seven of the final 11 winners to take the set.
Brescia never trailed in set two, grabbing a 5-1 advantage out of the gate and twice leading by as many as eight points.
Rio led 8-5 in set three before the Bearcats used a 5-0 run to go in front. Another 5-0 BU run snapped a 12-12 tie and, after the RedStorm pulled within 18-15, the ‘Cats scored seven of the final eight winners to close out the match.
Natalie Jones had 12 kills and added 11 digs to fuel the winning effort for Brescia, while Tonya Tivitt had 10 kills, a solo block and three block assists.
Brittany Just had a match-high 34 assists for the Bearcats, while Kristin Logsdon and Katherine Porter had 18 and 14 digs, respectively.
Freshman Ashley Taylor (Chillicothe, OH) led Rio Grande with seven kills, while sophomore Macy Roell (Farmersville, OH) had a team-high 15 assists and 15 digs.
Junior Katie Hemsley (Jackson, OH) added 14 digs for the RedStorm, while freshman Abbey Ansel (Hilliard, OH) and sophomore Carly Shriver (Gallipolis, OH) had 13 and 10 digs, respectively.
Rio Grande returns to action on Friday night when Indiana University East visits for a 7 p.m. first serve.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.