RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande built large leads in every set, but had to survive a near giveaway of their substantial advantages in the second and third stanzas for a 3-0 win over Carlow University, Saturday afternoon, in River States Conference volleyball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The RedStorm, who stopped a three-match losing slide with the victory, collected the win by scores of 25-14, 25-18, 25-22 and pushed their season record to 6-14 overall and 2-5 in league play.
Rio also notched its first straight sets triumph in conference play since sweeping Carlow on October 10 of last season.
The Celtics slipped to 6-12 overall and 1-5 inside the RSC with the loss.
Rio Grande used an 8-2 run in the opening period to forge a 17-7 lead and never looked back en route to grabbing the early advantage.
The RedStorm bolted to a 10-2 cushion in set two before Carlow rallied to twice pull within two points of a tie. Rio led just 21-18 before a kill by sophomore Abigail Grasso (Minford, OH) kickstarted a 4-0 run to close out the set.
Rio scored nine of the first 10 points in set three as well, but the Celtics kept chipping away and eventually closed the gap to 16-15.
The RedStorm reeled off four straight winners to regain a five-point lead, but the visitors rallied again and closed the gap to one on three more occasions before a kill by sophomore Baylee Pursifull (New Carlisle, OH) and a combo block by Pursifull and freshman Rachel Collins (Chillicothe, OH) closed out the set and the match.
Freshman Ashley Taylor (Chillicothe, OH) had eight kills to lead Rio Grande along the net, while Pursifull and freshman Jess Youse (Pettisville, OH) had one solo block and three block assists each.
Sophomore Macy Roell (Farmersville, OH) tallied 11 aces in the winning effort for the RedStorm, while freshman Abbey Ansell (Hilliard, OH) and junior Katie Hemsley (Jackson, OH) had 13 and 12 digs, respectively.
Cache Street had seven kills to lead Carlow, while Jenna Albert had 10 assists and Mandy Toman had 13 digs.
Haley Chiusano and Mariah Lomire added 11 and 10 digs, respectively, in the loss for the Celtics.
Rio Grande returns to action on Tuesday night, traveling to Beckley, W.Va for another River States Conference tilt against West Virginia University-Tech.
First serve is set for 7 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.