RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Senior Night for the University of Rio Grande volleyball team got off to a good start with the recognition of four players and a subsequent opening set win.
But the visitors from Midway University then went about the process of spoiling the festivities.
The Eagles pulled away late to win set two, outlasted their host in set three and never trailed in set four to post a 3-1 (23-25, 25-20, 31-29, 25-19) victory over the RedStorm, Friday night, in River States Conference play at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Midway improved to 12-3 overall and 8-2 in the RSC with the win.
Rio Grande fell to 7-5 overall and 4-4 in league play.
The RedStorm trailed 17-14 in the opening set after a kill by Midway’s Kaylee Criswell before running off 10 of the next 14 winners to take a 24-21 lead.
The Eagles scored each of the next two points to close the deficit to one and had the serve, but Brooke Trompler’s offering went into the net to give Rio the win and the early match lead.
Midway led for much of the second stanza before the RedStorm used a 5-0 scoring spurt to forge a 20-20 deadlock.
The Eagles rebounded, though, scoring the final five points of the set on a trio of kills, a service ace and a Rio attack error to even the match at 1-1.
Set three was a marathon which featured 13 ties and five lead changes.
Rio Grande failed to take advantage of a pair of set point scenarios, while Midway misfired on four chances to grab the match lead before scoring the final two points of the period on consecutive kills by Alysha Tullar and Trompler to go in front.
The Eagles parlayed their new-found momentum in the fourth stanza, grabbing a quick 4-1 lead and never trailing the rest of the way.
Rio Grande did manage to knot the score at 5-5, but Midway responded with a 5-1 run to take a lead it would never relinquish. The advantage reached as many as eight points late in the set.
Tullar and Trompler had 16 and 13 kills, respectively, to lead Midway while Raegan Stevens had 11 of her own in the winning effort. Trompler also added 16 digs and three service aces, while Tullar had 11 digs and two aces and Stevens finished with two solo blocks and a block assist.
The Eagles also received 27 assists from Annessa Roysdon, 22 assists from Wilani Velazquez and a match-high 33 digs from Mariana Rodriguez.
Freshman Amanda Rarick (Canal Winchester, OH) had 16 kills to pace Rio Grande, while senior Macy Roell (Farmersville, OH) finished with 37 assists, 20 digs and two service aces.
Freshman Darcie Walters (Sparta, OH) led the RedStorm with 27 digs, while senior Baleigh Bradley (Portsmouth, OH) and sophomore Malorie Colwell (London, OH) had 10 digs each.
Junior Jess Youse (Pettisville, OH) added eight kills, two service aces, two solo blocks and six block assists in a losing cause.
Rio Grande is now scheduled to return to action next Saturday at Point Park University.
The RedStorm’s scheduled home date with Asbury University – as well as next Friday’s match at Carlow University – have both been postponed due to COVID-related issues.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.