MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University volleyball team battled to five sets, falling 3-2 (25-14, 24-26, 25-20, 17-25, 12-15) to St. Francis in its home opener and opening round of the Mountaineer Invitational Friday at the WVU Coliseum.
Never giving up, the Mountaineers (0-1) used a kill from freshman Hannah Sackett
to come within one at 11-10, but three-straight Red Flash (1-0) kills pushed the score out to 14-10. Junior outside hitter Arielle Allen
slammed down a kill followed by a kill by sophomore middle blocker Evyn McCoy
to come within two, but St. Francis’ Elizabeth Williams put down her 12th kill of the match to seal the win.
WVU used a .462 hitting percentage with 13 kills and only one error to claim the first set 25-14. Sackett led the team with six kills and no errors for a .750 hitting percentage.
Set two was closely contested as WVU led at 19-16 before St. Francis pulled the match even with two kills and a service ace. The Mountaineers would fight to regain the lead, but two costly errors near the end let St. Francis take the lead and the set 26-24.
After the break, WVU used errors by the Red Flash to gain a 15-8 advantage. St. Francis attempted to close the gap, but strong serving from the Mountaineers kept the Red Flash at bay as WVU took the third set 25-20.
With WVU ahead 15-13, St. Francis used a 12-2 run under the serving of Lauren Wingard and Logan Meinert to take the fourth set and push the match to five.
Offensively the Mountaineers were led by Sackett who had 16 kills, nine digs and two service aces. Allen and freshman setter Brittany Sample
each recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 15 digs and 35 assists and 17 digs, respectively. Defensively, WVU had four players with double-digit digs and, as a team, recorded 12.5 blocks.
The Mountaineers will face their second opponent of the day as they take on Central Connecticut State at 7 p.m. tonight.