RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande rebounded from an opening match loss to rival Shawnee State by dropping St. Andrews (NC) University in straight sets and earning a split in the first day of the Emileigh Cooper Memorial Tournament, Friday night, at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The RedStorm fell 25-20, 25-13, 25-12 to the Bears in the opener, but cruised past the Knights in their nightcap 25-19, 25-20, 25-21.
Rio Grande trailed just twice in its victory — 1-0 in set two and 2-1 in set three.
The RedStorm finished with a .242 attack percentage, tallying 37 kills and just 13 errors in 99 swings.
St. Andrews (0-6) had just five more kills (33) than it had attack errors (28) and had just a .046 attack percentage.
Junior Beth Arnold (Williamstown, WV) and sophomore Shalea Byrd (Canal Winchester, OH) led Rio at the net with 12 and 11 kills, respectively, while freshman Avery Huntzinger (Canal Winchester, OH) tallied 36 assists and three service aces. Byrd also had a solo block and four block assists.
Sophomores Darcie Walters (Sparta, OH) and Amanda Rarick (Canal Winchester, OH) had 14 and 10 digs, respectively, in the winning effort.
Ashley McGuan totaled 10 kills in a losing cause for St. Andrews, while Carmen Wright had 25 assists.
Karina Lozada had 18 digs for the Knights and Kandon Luquer added 10 digs of her own.
Things didn’t go as smoothly in the opening match against Shawnee State.
The Bears (6-1) scored seven of the final nine points in the opening set to take an early match lead and then trailed just three times over the final two sets — by only one point on each occasion — to wrap up an easy win.
Shawnee State had a .266 attack percentage, while Rio had two more errors (28) than it had kills (26) for a swing percentage of -.021.
Rarick and junior Jess Youse (Pettisville, OH) had nine kills each for the RedStorm, while Huntzinger tallied 22 assists. Rarick also had three service aces.
Walters finished with a team-high nine digs.
Emily Boggs led a balanced attack at the net for SSU with nine kills, while Maria Kolinoff had nine assists and Emilee Cochran had eight digs.
The Bears also had one solo block and 18 block assists in the victory. Nashail Shelby had five block assists.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.