MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University volleyball team defeated Central Connecticut State 3-0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-23) in the third match of the Mountaineer Invitational Friday at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers (1-1) bounced back from an earlier loss to Loyola-Maryland to overpower the Blue Devils (0-2) in all categories and hit a season-high .381 hitting percentage.
“We did a better job of sustaining our level of play,” coach Jill Kramer says. “The first and second sets we came out and did a great job of taking care of the ball on our side of the net. In the third set, we got a little sloppy and we have to learn to clean that up. The great thing about the third set is that we came back and finished business and it was good to be behind and come back and win. It was good to see them fight through as a team and play with confidence.”
Freshman outside hitter Hannah Sackett
started set one with two kills and gave the Mountaineers an early lead they never lost. WVU hit a season-high .567 hitting percentage in the set with 17 kills and zero errors. Sackett led the way with seven kills, zero errors and a .583 hitting percentage. The Mountaineers were also strong defensively with a team total of 12 digs and three blocks.
Strong serving from the Mountaineers gave them an early 10-4 lead in the second set. A timeout by Central Connecticut State pulled the Blue Devils back into the match, but WVU responded by capitalizing on Central Connecticut State errors to pull ahead 22-11. WVU had another strong offensive set as freshman middle blocker Caleah Wells
recorded four kills and zero errors to lead WVU to a team hitting percentage of .303.
Central Connecticut State came out of the break and gave the Mountaineers a challenge early on in set three as the Blue Devils took an 18-14 lead. WVU would continue to battle and eventually tied the match at 23-23. After a timeout, the Mountaineers went on to close the match with a service ace from junior libero Liz Gulick
and a kill from Sackett – her 23rd of the match.
Sackett led the strong offense with 23 kills, a .524 hitting percentage, nine digs and two service aces. Wells chipped in 10 kills for a .667 hitting percentage as well as seven total blocks.
WVU will wrap up the Mountaineer Invitational tomorrow with a 5 p.m. match against Loyola-Maryland at the WVU Coliseum.
“Expectations for tomorrow are that we just keep getting better and we just keep taking care of the ball on our side of the net,” Kramer says. “Loyola-Maryland is a good team and they did a good job earlier today against Central Connecticut.”