Eagles oust Rio from RSC Tournament

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

MIDWAY, Ky. — Kaylee Criswell had 12 kills in just 16 swings, while Tori Richman recorded eight service aces to lead Midway University to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-20) win over the University of Rio Grande, Saturday afternoon, in the quarterfinal round of the River States Conference Volleyball Championship at Marshall Gymnasium.

The Eagles, who were the tourney’s No. 2 seed from the RSC’s West Division, improved to 17-6 with the win and advanced to next Wednesday’s semifinal round.

Rio Grande, the No. 3 seed out of the East Division, finished its COVID-19-shortened season at 9-6.

The RedStorm rebounded after trailing in nearly all of an opening set loss by bolting to a 14-4 advantage in set two, but Midway roared back to forge the first of what would be five ties at 17-17 before recording four of the final five winners in the stanza to take a commanding match lead.

Set three saw the two teams battle to eight ties, the last of which came at 18-18, before the host Eagles closed out the match with seven of the final nine points – including a trio of kills by Criswell.

Alysha Tullar added 11 kills for Midway, which finished with 42 kills and 16 attack errors in 105 swings as a team for a .248 attack percentage.

Annessa Roysdon and Wilani Velazquez added 16 and 15 assists, respectively, in the winning effort, while Mariana Rodriguez had a team-high eight digs.

The Eagles also piled up 13 aces, fueled by Richman’s career-best outing.

Rio Grande recorded a respectable .221 attack percentage (29 kills, 10 errors, 86 swings) in a losing cause, with junior Jess Youse (Pettisville, OH) leading the way with 10 kills. She also had a team-high six block assists and two service aces.

Senior Macy Roell (Farmersville, OH) had a match-high 25 assists, while freshman Darcie Walters (Sparta, OH) and sophomore Malorie Colwell (London, OH) had 12 and 10 digs, respectively.

Saturday’s loss marked the final appearance in a Rio uniform for Roell, Colwell and seniors Baleigh Bradley (Portsmouth, OH) and Jordan Walker (Rio Grande, OH).

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.