Volleyball Shines in Home Opener, Surpasses 2011 Win Total

Alexis Egler | Photo by Ron Stevens
Alexis Egler | Photo by Ron Stevens

Youngstown -- The Youngstown State volleyball team hit .304 as a group and had five different players collect at least seven kills in a sweep of Robert Morris, 25-12, 25-17, 25-16, on Tuesday at Beeghly Center.

The Penguins, playing their 2012 home opener and their first match in Youngstown with coach Mark Hardaway, won for the sixth straight match and posted their fourth consecutive sweep. The Penguins are now 6-2, which gives them more wins than all of last season. YSU earned a sweep at Beeghly Center for the first time since 2008 and won six straight matches for the first time since 1999.

Egler hit at a .389 clip, and Jenna Cavanaugh posted eight kills and three blocks with a .438 attack percentage. Shannon Watson had a match-high six blocks and joined Missy Hundelt and Jackie Carlisle with seven kills apiece. Hundelt added a match-best 12 digs.

The Penguins had nine blocks in the three-set win and held the Colonials to a .021 attack percentage.

YSU scored the first five points in each of the first two sets and trailed just 1-0 in the third. The Guins took their first double-digit lead in the first at 16-6 on a block by Hundelt and Cavanaugh, and their largest lead was the final margin. Robert Morris closed the 5-0 deficit to 10-8 midway through the second, but that was as close as it got. A Watson kill capped a 9-1 run that put YSU ahead 23-12, and Hundelt got a kill on set point.

After Robert Morris led 1-0 in the third, YSU surged ahead with a 9-1 run and took a 10-4 advantage on a block by Watson and Aly Ryan. The Colonials went on a run of their own to cut the margin to 11-9, but YSU went on a 5-1 run to extend the lead to 18-12 and closed out the match on a 6-1 run.

Youngstown State will travel just an hour west of campus for three matches at the University of Akron's Zips Invitational this weekend. On Friday, YSU will play Binghamton at 11 a.m. and SIU-Edwardsville at 5 p.m. The Penguins will then play the host Zips on Saturday at 2 p.m.