MIDWAY, Ky. — Kaylee Criswell had 12 kills in just 16 swings, while Tori Richman recorded eight service aces to lead Midway University to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-20) win over the University of Rio Grande, Saturday afternoon, in the quarterfinal round of the River States Conference Volleyball Championship at Marshall Gymnasium.
The Eagles, who were the tourney’s No. 2 seed from the RSC’s West Division, improved to 17-6 with the win and advanced to next Wednesday’s semifinal round.
Rio Grande, the No. 3 seed out of the East Division, finished its COVID-19-shortened season at 9-6.
The RedStorm rebounded after trailing in nearly all of an opening set loss by bolting to a 14-4 advantage in set two, but Midway roared back to forge the first of what would be five ties at 17-17 before recording four of the final five winners in the stanza to take a commanding match lead.
Set three saw the two teams battle to eight ties, the last of which came at 18-18, before the host Eagles closed out the match with seven of the final nine points – including a trio of kills by Criswell.
Alysha Tullar added 11 kills for Midway, which finished with 42 kills and 16 attack errors in 105 swings as a team for a .248 attack percentage.
Annessa Roysdon and Wilani Velazquez added 16 and 15 assists, respectively, in the winning effort, while Mariana Rodriguez had a team-high eight digs.
The Eagles also piled up 13 aces, fueled by Richman’s career-best outing.
Rio Grande recorded a respectable .221 attack percentage (29 kills, 10 errors, 86 swings) in a losing cause, with junior Jess Youse (Pettisville, OH) leading the way with 10 kills. She also had a team-high six block assists and two service aces.
Senior Macy Roell (Farmersville, OH) had a match-high 25 assists, while freshman Darcie Walters (Sparta, OH) and sophomore Malorie Colwell (London, OH) had 12 and 10 digs, respectively.
Saturday’s loss marked the final appearance in a Rio uniform for Roell, Colwell and seniors Baleigh Bradley (Portsmouth, OH) and Jordan Walker (Rio Grande, OH).
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.