Penguins Earn Road Sweep at Wright State

Val Jeffery (Photo by Regina Thompson)
Val Jeffery (Photo by Regina Thompson)

The Youngstown State volleyball team had one of its best offensive performances of the season in a sweep at Wright State on Tuesday evening at the C.J. McLin Gymnasium.

The Penguins had 47 kills in the three-set victory, averaging a season-best 15.7 kills per set. Setter Val Jeffery had 36 assists and five kills of her own while adding 11 digs, and Youngstown State had 15 more kills than Wright State. Lauren Thompson had a match-best 11 kills, and Aly Ryan had nine kills in 19 attempts without committing an error.

Youngstown State beat Wright State for the seventh consecutive time and improved to 2-4 in Horizon League play. The Raiders dropped to 1-6 in the conference.

Katie Klusman and Haley Garr had seven kills apiece to lead Wright State.

"We had a great team effort tonight, and I'm very happy to get a much-needed win on the road," YSU head coach Mark Hardaway said. "We worked really hard on defense and didn't panic or waver from the game plan even when we were down."

"Wright State's offense has been very good this year, and holding them to a .088 attack percentage was tough. I thought we did a great job serving and passing, and our middles and right side did a nice job offensively."

Youngstown State had to fight through 27 ties and 12 lead changes to outlast Wright State.

YSU led by four twice midway through the first set, but Wright State used a 7-1 run to go up 17-15. The Raiders still led 20-18 before the Penguins scored seven of the final nine points of the set. Kills by Ryan and Lauren Blanco and an ace by Jessie Gerig accounted for the final three points.

Youngstown State's comeback was even bigger in the second set as Wright State built a 17-11 lead. The Penguins caught the Raiders at 18 following a Blanco kill, and they went ahead 21-20 on a kill by Lori Vanbeek. Another Vanbeek kill, one of eight in the match for her, ended the set when Wright State had gotten within one.

YSU fought off a set point in the third and ended up scoring the final three points of the match. Thompson's kill tied the set at 25-25, and she followed that up with a solo block of Klusman. Ryan then finished the victory with her ninth kill of the night.

Youngstown State will return home to host UIC on Friday at 7 p.m.