TOLEDO, OHIO - The West Virginia University volleyball team opened its 2013 season with back-to-back victories at the Blue/Gold Invitational in Toledo, Ohio, today.
The Mountaineers (2-0) defeated Eastern Illinois 3-1 (25-17, 24-26, 25-20, 25-20) this morning to open the tournament, and then posted a 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-23) win over Loyola-Chicago in the second match of the day.
“It was a good start to the season. We did a good job staying focused on our plan for serving and passes, which is really important this time of year,” said coach Jill Kramer after the first match. “The things we want to be focused on early in the year, we did a good job of executing.”
WVU started the day in a back-and-forth first set against Eastern Illinois before pulling away to win the set, 25-17. Freshman outsider hitter Jordan Anderson
led the way with five kills on 11 attempts for a .273 hitting percentage. Sophomore setter Brittany Sample
dished out 12 assists.
Anderson would go on to record two double-doubles in the Mountaineers’ two matches, Saturday.
“I think what we saw today is a sign of what to come from Jordan (Anderson),” Kramer says. “They really went after Jordan on the serve, and she handled herself well and they had to go away from her. She is doing a great job of continuing to make positive plays.
“We had great effort. I thought our middles did a great job,” says Kramer. “Brittany (Sample) did an awesome job running the offense. And, I thought Jordan Anderson
had a great debut.”
West Virginia would win the third and fourth sets against Eastern Illinois to win the match, marking the third time in the last four seasons that the Mountaineers have won their season opener.
Sophomore Caleah Wells
had an impressive first match, tying a career-high with 13 kills on 20 attempts for a .550 hitting percentage.
In match two, WVU took the first set against Loyola-Chicago, 25-21, and never looked back. Senior Elzbieta Klein
provided a spark off the bench, tallying nine kills against the Ramblers.
Sample continued to operate the offense, registering 31 assists for the second match, and the freshman Anderson added 13 kills, bringing her tally to 30 on the day for the two matches.
“It’s tough to play two matches in one day. We might be one of the only sports that do that. Our preseason tournament schedules are typically set up as such,” Kramer says. “It is an explosive sport, and it requires a lot of rest. I thought our girls showed a lot of grit in today’s matches and they were keyed in.”
West Virginia returns to action tomorrow afternoon, Sept.1, for its final match in the Blue/Gold Invitational against Toledo at 2 p.m.