RIO GRANDE, Ohio – The University of Rio Grande took advantage of 23 Shawnee State attack errors and rolled to a 3-0 win over the rival Bears, Tuesday night, in Mid-South Conference volleyball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The RedStorm needed just 61 minutes to earn the sweep by scores of 25-17, 25-14, 25-18, delighting a raucous, season-best crowd of 377 in the process.
With the victory, Rio Grande improved to 15-7 overall and 6-2 in league play, while also avenging a 3-2 loss to Shawnee on September 5 in Portsmouth.
The Bears fell to 17-7 overall and 6-2 in the MSC with the loss.
Shawnee State finished the match with just a .042 hitting percentage, collecting just four more kills (27) than it had errors.
Rio Grande tallied 33 kills against only five errors and had a .354 hitting percentage for the contest.
The RedStorm trailed 7-5 in game one before using an 8-1 scoring run to take control. Quick starts in each of the final two games gave head coach Billina Donaldson’s squad leads they would never relinquish.
Senior outside hitter Whitney Smith had a match-high 11 kills and four service aces to lead the winning effort, while junior setters Kelsey Martin and Kayla Landaker finished with 16 and 15 assists, respectively.
Junior defensive specialist Nicole Ogg recorded a match-best 15 digs, while sophomore middle blocker Morgan Daniels had four blocks, including three solos.
Kelsey Bielanow led Shawnee with six kills, while Hannah Gephart had 10 assists and Kirsti Yates added eight digs for the Bears.
Alex Pohl added three blocks in a losing cause for Shawnee, which suffered its second straight setback.
Rio Grande will enjoy a nine-day layoff before returning to action in an MSC Crossover event at Shawnee State next weekend. The RedStorm will play the University of the Cumberlands on Friday, Oct. 19 and will face both Campbellsville and Lindsey Wilson on Saturday, Oct. 20.