MORGANTOWN, W.Va.– The West Virginia University volleyball team fell in its opening match to Maryland-Eastern 3-1 (25-27, 16-25, 25-19, 19-25) in the second match of the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe Challenge, Friday at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers (3-5, 0-1 Big 12) bounced back from a 2-0 deficit in the match to win the third set, but ultimately fell in the fourth set to the Hawks (8-1, 0-0 MEAC).
The Mountaineers struggled at the beginning of set one before a kill from junior outside hitter Elzbieta Klein
at 20-14, propelled the Mountaineers on an 8-2 run to tie the match at 22-22. WVU set up match point with another kill by Klein, but three attack errors in a row by the Mountaineers gave the Hawks the advantage and set one.
Strong serving from Maryland-Eastern Shore hindered WVU in set two as the Hawks jumped to a 9-2 lead off a 7-0 serving run from Saitaua Iosia. The Mountaineers would close the gap within three and hold off set point three times until a kill from Victoria Williams ended the set.
The third set was closely contested until two attack errors and a service ace from freshman outside hitter Hannah Sackett
gave WVU a 19-16 advantage. Two more service aces from Sackett extended the lead as the Mountaineers hit a match-high .343 hitting percentage to take the third set 25-19.
Maryland-Eastern Shore capitalized on WVU errors and used four service aces to take a lead in the fourth set that they never lost as the Hawks took the fourth set and the match.
Sophomore Evyn McCoy
led the team with 12 kills while freshman middle blocker Caleah Wells
and freshman outside hitter Nikki Attea
each chipped in eight. Freshman setter Brittany Sample
posted her third double-double of the season with 33 assists and 12 digs.
The Mountaineers will wrap up day one of the tournament later tonight when the team takes on Saint Peter’s at 7:30 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum.