MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Down two sets, the West Virginia University volleyball team came back to win the next three and defeat Cleveland State 3-2 (21-25, 24-26, 25-18, 27-25, 15-12), Saturday at the WVU Coliseum for its first five set victory of the 2012 season.
This is the second five-set match in a row for the Mountaineers (7-6, 0-1 Big 12) who had a season-high 63 kills over the Vikings (8-5, 0-0 Horizon League).
“We got better today and when it was close and tight, they believed in themselves, they knew that we believed in them and that made all the difference in the world,” coach Jill Kramer says. “We have to play with that kind of passion and intensity as we move forward into the rest of the season.”
The teams traded points to begin set one until three kills from Kara Koch gave the Vikings a 10-6 lead. WVU would storm back to tie the match at 12-12 and take the lead with a service ace from junior outside hitter Arielle Allen
and kills from freshman outside hitter Nikki Attea
. After a Cleveland State timeout, the Vikings would come back to tie the match at 20-20 and would go on a 5-1 run to end the first set 25-21.
WVU was leading the entire second set until a late surge from the Vikings pulled the match even at 23-23 with a kill from Jackie Dabbet. A block from sophomore middle blocker Evyn McCoy
and freshman setter Brittany Sample
and a kill from McCoy gave WVU its first set point at 24-23, but a kill from Marie Frease combined with two WVU hitting errors gave Cleveland State the second set and a 2-0 lead in the match.
After the break, WVU and Cleveland State battled until a kill from McCoy propelled the Mountaineers on a 7-1 run. After a timeout by Cleveland State, the Vikings attempted to close the gap and would come within four until kills from Attea and freshman outside hitter Hannah Sackett
ended the set at 25-18.
The Mountaineers found themselves in a hole to start the fourth set as WVU used its second timeout trailing Cleveland State 11-6. The Vikings’ lead was cut away by the Mountaineers with kills from Attea and junior outside hitter Elzbieta Klein
. With the set tied 21-21, WVU capitalized on Cleveland State errors and combined with kills from Attea, McCoy and Sackett, the Mountaineers came back and took the fourth set 27-25.
Tied 5-5 in the fifth set, McCoy recorded three straight blocks to give WVU an 8-5 lead that the Mountaineers never lost. McCoy would go on to put down her ninth kill of the match to take the fifth set 15-12.
Attea and Sample recorded double-doubles for the second match in a row as Attea led WVU with 19 kills and 11 digs while Sample posted a season- and career-high 53 assists and 11 digs. Klein and freshman middle blocker Caleah Wells
also had double-digit kills with Wells recording 11 kills and one error for a .476 hitting percentage and Klein chipping in 13 kills.
The Mountaineers will wrap up the tournament tomorrow when it takes on Murray State at 2 p.m., at the WVU Coliseum.
“Murray State is a good team,” Kramer says. “They played earlier today and we got to watch them, which is always helpful. We need to come back tomorrow ready to go. We have to get it done so that we can take home the trophy from our own tournament.”