MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – The West Virginia University volleyball team fell to Robert Morris 3-2 (17-25, 17-25, 25-19, 25-18, 13-15), Tuesday, at the Charles L. Sewell Center.
The Mountaineers (6-6, 0-1 Big 12) came back after losing the first two sets to the Colonials (4-8, 0-0 NEC) to win sets three and four, but ultimately lost the match.
“We still have a lot to learn as a group,” coach Jill Kramer says. “I was very unhappy with the way we came into the match and how many unforced errors we committed at the beginning of the match. It set a tone for Robert Morris and we let them in from the beginning.
“I was happy with the way we battled after the second set, but you have to play a full match. We learned a lot tonight and competed well in the third and fourth set, but we still have to get better at competing as a group at the end of the match when it counts.”
WVU had to call a timeout in the first set after starting with a 7-1 deficit. WVU closed the gap on the Colonials with a 4-0 serving run by junior outside hitter Elzbieta Klein
and would pull the match within two, until multiple errors by the Mountaineers gave Robert Morris the first set 25-17.
The two teams traded points at the start of the second set until a serving run by Melissa Bograd gave Robert Morris a 9-5 lead and forced WVU to use its first timeout of the set. Service aces by the Colonials and six kills from Lindsey Monger extended the Robert Morris lead as they took the second set and a 2-0 lead in the match.
Down two sets, the Mountaineers came out fighting in the third set and took a 9-6 lead off of kills from junior outside hitter Arielle Allen
and a service ace from freshman libero Anna Panagiotakopoulos
. The Colonials would come back and take a 16-11 lead before a serving run from freshman outside hitter Hannah Sackett
and kills from Allen gave WVU a 21-17 advantage. A combination of kills from Allen, freshman outside hitter Nikki Attea
and sophomore middle blocker Evyn McCoy
would finish off the third set for the Mountaineers and give them the win.
The teams went back and forth at the start of the fourth set until a kill from Attea gave WVU its first lead in the set that they never lost. The Mountaineers hit a match-high .357 on their way to taking the set with Attea and Allen registering six and seven kills, respectively.
The fifth set was a battle back and forth until two errors in a row by the Colonials gave WVU a 13-11 lead. After a timeout, Robert Morris went on to register two kills to tie the match at 13-13. WVU then committed two straight hitting errors that ended the set 15-13 in favor of the Colonials.
Allen led WVU with a season- and career-high 19 kills and a .343 hitting percentage. Attea and freshman setter Brittany Sample
each recorded a double-double with Attea posting 15 kills and 11 digs and Sample posting 50 assists and 17 digs.
The Mountaineers will return to the WVU Coliseum on Sept. 15-16 for the Gold and Blue Classic. WVU will take on Cleveland State Saturday, at 5 p.m., and Murray State on Sunday, at 2 p.m.