YSU Falls in Three to League-Leading Vikings

Nikki Thompson (Photo by Regina Thompson)
Nikki Thompson (Photo by Regina Thompson)

Cleveland State used a strong service game to win the first set and depended on its blocking in the next two to sweep the Youngstown State volleyball team on Friday at Beeghly Center. The set scores were 26-24, 25-20 and 25-16.

The Vikings had four aces in the first set, and they had 11 of their 12 blocks over the final two sets.

Aly Ryan and Lori Vanbeek both had eight kills for Youngstown State, and libero Nikki Thompson registered a match-best 18 digs with six in each set.

CSU's Christina Toth led all players with 14 kills, and Alexis Middlebrooks added 13 kills and seven blocks.

Youngstown State outhit the Horizon League leaders .275 to .240 and had an 18-17 edge in kills in the first set, but the Vikings had three more aces. There were 11 ties and five lead changes in the set, and the largest lead was three, which YSU held three times.

An attack error by Middlebrooks gave the Penguins a 10-7 lead, but the Vikings scored the next five points to go ahead 12-10. YSU regained the lead at 19-18 on a kill by Ryan, and a Lauren Thompson kill gave the Penguins their final lead of the set at 22-21. Toth had a pair of kills to set up two set points, and CSU capitalized on the second one on a Shannon Grega ace.

Cleveland State then scored six of the first eight points of the second set, but YSU didn't back down and tied the score at 12 on a Vanbeek kill. The Penguins tied the score three more times before finally going ahead 20-19 on an attack error by Grace Kauth. The Vikings called timeout, and they proceeded to score the final six points of the set to win 25-20. Four of those six points came on blocks.

Youngstown State had kills on the first three points of the third set, but Cleveland State scored seven of the next eight points to go up 7-4 and led the rest of the set.

YSU setter Val Jeffery collected the 2,000th assist of her Penguins career on a kill by Lauren Thompson early in the first set.

Youngstown State will continue its four-match home stand next Friday when it hosts Oakland at 7 p.m.