The Youngstown State volleyball team struggled to slow down Cleveland State's offense in a three-set loss to the Vikings on Friday evening at the Woodling Gymnasium. The set scores were 25-20, 25-16, 25-23.
The Vikings generated 50 kills on a .289 attack percentage, outpacing YSU's 35 kills and .142 attack percentage. Cleveland State improved to 14-3 overall and remained perfect in league play, while YDU dropped to 7-11 overall and 1-2 in conference games.
Lauren Thompson led Youngstown State with eight kills, and Sarah Varcolla and Aly Ryan both had seven. Setter Val Jeffery had five kills in seven attempts, and Nikki Thompson had 16 digs, which was twice more than any other Penguin.
Grace Kauth had 16 kills to lead Cleveland State.
Youngstown State led 11-7 early in the first set, and a Val Jeffery kill had it ahead 17-14. That's when the set flipped as Cleveland State scored eight straight points behind four Kauth kills. A Sarah Varcolla kill made the score 23-20, which was as close as YSU got after the eight-point run.
The Vikings went on a 5-1 run, with four of those points coming on YSU attack errors, midway through the second set to go up 14-9. They led by at least three the rest of the set.
The score was tied nine times in the third set, the final time coming at 13-13 after a Lauren Thompson kill. Cleveland State built a 19-15 lead, but YSU rallied and got within a point five different times. The Penguins never could catch the Vikings, and a Kauth kill finished the match once YSU got within 24-23 on a Ryan kill.
Youngstown State will continue its four-match road streak when it plays at Northern Kentucky on Friday at 7 p.m.