Volleyball struggles as conference play continues

By Samantha Meyer

After losing 3-1 against Horizon League competitor University of Illinois-Chicago on Oct. 13, the Cleveland State University volleyball team returned home to host its annual “Volley For the Cure” match. The team competed against Youngstown State University on Oct. 18, and Oakland University on Oct. 19.

Friday’s match against Horizon League competitor Youngstown State featured the Vikings in special-edition pink jerseys. The annual “Volley For The Cure” match was organized by the Cleveland State University Campus Activities Board, Health and Wellness Center and Delta Zeta sorority. Each year, the team raises money and holds a silent auction on the special-edition, pink jerseys worn during the game. All funds raised are donated to the charity to help in the fight against breast cancer.

The Vikings entered the game against Youngstown State hoping to turn their 45-10 record in the Woodling gym over the past five seasons to a 46-10 record. Unfortunately, they were defeated by Youngstown 3-1. In the first match, the Vikings lost 18-25. They pushed their way back in the second match, winning 25-16. The next two matches were hard fought, with the third match ending in a close score of 24-26 and the final match ending 20-25.

While the Vikings lost to Youngstown State, they had some  good performances. Entering the weekend, junior Emily DeGeorge was on the cusp of reaching 1,000 digs in her career at Cleveland State. She began the match with 982 career digs and ended the game with 1,002. This milestone makes  DeGeorge the 20th Viking to ever reach 1,000 career digs.

Also having great performances during the match against Youngstown State was senior Trinniti Hall and junior Hannah Greene. The middle hitter couple entered the weekend holding 52% of Cleveland State’s offense with 432 total kills. During the match, Hall recorded 14 kills while Greene had 11, upping their kill total to 457.

On the defensive front, DeGeorge lead the team with a 20 dig performance, followed by senior Jordan Verbiak with 13, sophomore Christina Grecol posted 12, and junior Halle Schoen contributed 11 digs. The next day, the Vikings fell to Oakland, 3-2, in a five set match that came down to the very last game. Oakland won the first two matches, beating Cleveland State 20-25 and 17-25. Cleveland State came back to win the next two games 25-19 and 25-19. With a tied score, the game moved to a fifth-match score breaker, where Oakland defeated the Vikings 16-14.

While the team was discouraged after posting a second loss for the weekend, their hard work did not go unnoticed. Hall, Greene and sophomore London Portis led the offense with 40 of Cleveland State’s 55 kills. Helping on the defensive end was sophomore Lindsey Tout, who contributed 21 digs, Hall posted 13, Grecol added 12, and DeGeorge added 11.

Grecol also put her name into the Cleveland State record book, as she  passed the 1,800-assist mark. This accomplishment lands her with just nine other Vikings who have surpassed 1,800 career assists.

Coming off a weekend of defeat, the Vikings look forward to their upcoming matches in hopes of bringing a win home to Cleveland. The ladies will travel to Wisconsin on Oct. 25 to face the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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