Volleyball Finishes Season With Four-Set Win Over Milwaukee

Seniors Lauren Blanco, Dana Borsz, Heather Splinter, Sam Brown and Paige Saunders along with Head Coach Mark Hardaway
Seniors Lauren Blanco, Dana Borsz, Heather Splinter, Sam Brown and Paige Saunders along with Head Coach Mark Hardaway

The Youngstown State volleyball team posted 15 blocks and finished the 2017 campaign with a four-set win over Milwaukee on Saturday at Beeghly Center.

Freshman outside hitter Margaux Thompson had13 kills and 13 digs, and senior Sam Brown had 10 kills and five aces in her final match as a Penguin. Sarah Varcolla had nine blocks to go along with seven kills, and senior Lauren Blanco notched 17 digs to secure her place atop the Horizon League rankings in digs per set during conference play.

Bridget Wallenberger had 22 kills to lead Milwaukee.

The Penguins triumphed despite hitting just .122 for the match, and their 15 blocks helped limit Milwaukee to a .175 attack percentage. YSU hit .212 in the first and .368 in the fourth, and it took the third set while hitting a negative percentage.

There were 10 ties and four lead changes in the opening set before Youngstown State scored the final five points to go up 1-0 in the match. The final tie came at 20-20 on a kill by Milwaukee's Jess Kalous. YSU got a side out on a Brown kill, and Brown had aces for two of the final three points of the set.

Milwaukee hit .357 and cruised to a 25-12 win in the second set to even the match, but YSU fought for a 25-23 win in the third to go back up a set. The Penguins had six blocks and three aces in the set, two of which came early from Brown as they went ahead 6-0. Milwaukee battled back and eventually took a 16-14 lead, and the score was within two points until a Blanco ace put the Penguins up 22-19. Milwaukee tied the score at 22 and again at 23 before a Brown kill and an attack error by Wallenberger ended the set.

YSU's only deficit in the fourth set was 1-0, and the Penguins went on a 6-1 run to take a 12-7 advantage. YSU led by no fewer than three points the rest of the match. Milwaukee got within 22-19 to force a Penguins timeout, and YSU scored the next two points on kills by Thompson and Erin Kalahar to set up match point. Milwaukee prolonged the match with back-to-back kills, but Thompson's kill on an overpass gave the Penguins the 25-21 win.