Rio volleyball outlasts Bears for first win

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

PIKEVILLE, Ky. — The University of Rio Grande scored the final two points in the fifth and deciding set to knock off the University of Pikeville, Thursday night, in non-conference volleyball action at UPike Gymnasium.

The RedStorm earned the 3-2 win over the Bears by scores of 20-25, 25-20, 25-21, 23-25, 15-13.

Rio Grande improved to 1-2 with the victory.

Pikeville slipped to 3-3 with the loss.

The fifth set was tied at 13-13 before ending on consecutive attack errors by the Bears. Rio freshman Amaya Jones (Columbus, OH) was credited with a block on the final point of the night.

UPike grabbed a 1-0 match lead by scoring eight of the final nine points in the opening set, but Rio rebounded to win each of the next two sets and jumped to a 5-2 lead in set four.

The Bears reeled off seven consecutive winners, though, to take a lead they would never relinquish to force the dramatic deciding period.

Sophomore Baylee Pursifull (New Carlisle, OH) had 11 kills and four blocks to lead the RedStorm’s winning effort, while Jones added 10 kills and four blocks of her own.

Sophomore Macy Roell (Farmersville, OH) had a match-high 35 assists to go along with 11 digs for Rio, while junior Katie Hemsley (Jackson, OH) and sophomore Ryanne Stoffel (Englewood, OH) had 16 and 11 digs, respectively.

The RedStorm, which overcame 36 attack errors and eight service errors to earn the win, also got four service aces from freshman Abbey Ansel (Hilliard, OH) and four blocks from freshman Jesse Youse (Pettisville, OH).

Cassie Jones had a match-best 12 kills and six blocks to pace Pikeville, while Sierra Conn and Brooke Pickler finished with 20 and 19 assists, respectively.

Brittany Reels had 24 digs in the loss for the Bears, while Hunter Clewis had 12 digs of her own.

Rio Grande returns to action on Friday night, facing Shawnee State University at 5 p.m. and Point Park University at 9 p.m. in the opening round of the 2nd Annual Emileigh Cooper Memorial Tournament at Jackson High School.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.