Senior Aly Ryan had 15 kills in her final home opener, and the Youngstown State volleyball team beat Saint Francis U in four sets on Tuesday evening at Beeghly Center. The set scores were 25-15, 23-25, 25-18, 26-24.
Ryan was one of three Penguins with at least 12 kills, joining Lauren Thompson and Sam Brown. Brown added 11 digs for her first double-double of the season, and Nikki Thompson had a match-high 24 digs. Val Jeffery registered 49 assists and helped Youngstown State outhit the Red Flash .250 to .173.
Hannah Kutny had a match-high 17 kills to lead Saint Francis U.
Youngstown State led from the outset in the first set, and Lori Vanbeek had five kills in eight attempts as YSU hit .314. Saint Francis U rebounded to win the second set, leading comfortably for most of the set before the Penguins made a run late. The Red Flash led 23-18, but Ryan had three kills in a four-point stretch to get YSU to within 24-23. She hit wide on SFU's third set point as the match evened.
The Penguins carried the momentum from the end of the second set into the beginning of the third as they scored nine of the first 11 points. Saint Francis rallied and cut the margin to one at 13-12, but YSU scored the next four points to go up 17-12. Vanbeek had the first three points during that run, and the Penguins led by at least four the rest of the set.
There were seven ties in the fourth set, and the score was within three points until a Ryan kill put the Penguins ahead 15-11. Saint Francis U tied the score at 22, 23 and 24 before Ryan finished the match with back-to-back kills.
Youngstown State will play three matches at the Pitt/Duquesne Invitational this weekend.