RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Pikeville parlayed quick starts in each of the first two sets and a momentum-swinging scoring spurt in set three for a 25-19, 25-14, 25-18 win over the University of Rio Grande, Wednesday night, in non-conference volleyball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The Bears improved to 5-10 with the victory, while completing a season sweep of the RedStorm in the process.
Rio Grande, which suffered a third straight loss, saw its overall mark slip to 3-13.
UPike jumped to a 5-0 lead in the opening stanza and a 6-0 advantage in set two, never trailing in either period.
Rio did manage a 9-8 lead in set three, but a run of six consecutive winners by the Bears – fueled by a trio of service aces from Brittany Reels – gave the visitors a lead they would never relinquish and secured the sweep of the match.
Noelani Simpson led Pikeville with a match-high nine kills, while Savanna Zakman had a match-best 26 assists and four service aces in the winning effort.
Natalia Goscot added 11 digs and Amari Eadie had one solo block and two block assists for the Bears.
Sophomore Patricia Dennis (Celina, OH) had seven kills and a pair of block assists to lead Rio Grande, while freshman Carly Shriver (Gallipolis, OH) finished with 12 assists and sophomore Katie Hemsley (Jackson, OH) had 13 digs.
Rio Grande returns to action next Tuesday when Point Park University visits for a River States Conference match. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.