BECKLEY, W.Va. — After suffering a disappointing five-set loss at home to West Virginia University-Tech one week earlier, the University of Rio Grande wasn’t about to let the same thing happen again.
The RedStorm reeled off four consecutive winners to pull away in the fifth and deciding set and posted a 3-2 (25-23, 18-25, 25-20, 13-25, 15-11) victory over the host Golden Bears, Tuesday night, in River States Conference volleyball action at VanMeter Gymnasium.
Rio Grande improved to 7-4 overall and 4-3 in conference play with the win – its third in the last four outings.
WVU-Tech fell to 3-4 overall and 3-4 in the RSC.
The Golden Bears staved off defeat with a convincing win in set four and closed an early set five deficit to 9-8 after a kill by Coralys Maldonado Rivera, but Rio scored the next four points – a service ace by freshman Kalista Prak (Galloway, OH) and a kill by sophomore Malorie Colwell (London, OH) sandwiched around a pair of Tech attack errors – to take control once and for all and close out the match.
The RedStorm had nine kills and just one attack error in 22 swings (.364 attack percentage) in the fifth set.
Freshman Amanda Rarick (Canal Winchester, OH) led Rio Grande with a career-high 19 kills, while junior Jess Youse (Pettisville, OH) had 15 kills to compliment five solo blocks and a block assist.
Sophomore Beth Arnold (Williamstown, WV) added a career-best 12 kills of her own, as well as four solo blocks and a block assist.
Freshman Darcie Walters (Sparta, OH) finished with a team-high 16 digs in the winning effort, while senior Macy Roell (Farmersville, OH) had a match-best 52 assists to go along with 11 digs. Colwell also had 11 digs.
Ariana Gentzler had 14 kills to pace WVU-Tech, while Brooklyn Cook and Katelyn Byrd finished with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Byrd also had a match-high 23 digs.
Lucie Strasser and Julia McClanahan had 31 and 17 assists, respectively, in a losing cause, while Sawyer Hawgood had 16 digs and Ana Muniz Rocandio added 11 digs of her own.
McClanahan also had four service aces, while Maldonado Rivera had three solo blocks and one block assist.
Rio Grande returns to action on Friday night when Midway University visits the Newt Oliver Arena. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.