RedStorm cruises past Ohio Christian

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande didn’t make many mistakes in its final home appearance of the 2020 season.

Ohio Christian University, on the other hand, made more than enough miscues to erase any chance it had to enjoy a measure of success against the RedStorm.

Rio Grande committed a season-low six attack errors, while the Trailblazers finished with more swing errors than they had kills in the RedStorm’s 3-0 win (25-16, 25-14, 25-14), Saturday morning, in River States Conference volleyball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.

Rio Grande improved to 9-5 overall and 5-4 in conference play with a victory that took just 65 minutes to complete.

Ohio Christian dropped to 4-10 overall and 3-10 against RSC foes.

Junior Jess Youse (Pettisville, OH) led Rio along the net with seven kills, five solo blocks and four block assists.

Sophomore Malorie Colwell (London, OH) had seven kills of her own for the RedStorm, while senior Macy Roell (Farmersville, OH) had 23 assists and freshman Darcie Walters (Sparta, OH) finished with 17 digs.

Senior Baleigh Bradley (Portsmouth, OH) contributed 15 digs to the winning effort.

Rio trailed 11-9 in the opening set after a service ace by OCU’s Dakotah Zaph, but the RedStorm responded by scoring 13 of the next 14 winners en route to an early match lead.

Rio’s lead in set two was just 10-7 after an attack error by Colwell, but a 9-2 run again blew things open and gave the RedStorm a commanding advantage.

One more scoring spurt sealed the straight sets victory.

Following a kill by Ohio Christian’s Brooke Mazzocca tied things at 10-10, Rio reeled off eight consecutive winners – a stretch which included two kills and a pair of blocks by Youse – to take control.

The RedStorm finished with 27 kills and .221 attack percentage, while also tallying eight solo blocks and seven block assists as a team.

Ohio Christian had just 16 kills, while committing 21 attack errors in 113 swings.

Emily Holbrook led the Trailblazers with six kills and a pair of block assists, while Allie Thompson had eight assists and Kaylee Garren finished with 22 digs.

Autumn Paugh added 12 digs in a losing cause, while Zaph had a match-best three service aces.

Rio Grande returns to action next Saturday in the quarterfinal round of the RSC Tournament.

The RedStorm will likely play at Midway University, although official pairings and match times won’t be determined until Wednesday.

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.