Vikings Hit .337 to Sweep Volleyball on Sunday

Heather Splinter (Photo by Matt Milligan)
Heather Splinter (Photo by Matt Milligan)

Cleveland State had five players register at least seven kills and hit .337 as a team to sweep the Youngstown State volleyball team on Sunday afternoon at Beeghly Center. The set scores were 25-22, 25-18, 25-20.

Cleveland State's Sara Skeens led all players with 12 kills, and Aaliyah Slappy had eight kills in 11 attempts. Setter Gina Kilner posted seven kills, seven digs and 38 assists for the Vikings, who improved to 10-4 overall and 1-1 in Horizon League play. The preseason favorites outhit YSU .337 to .135.

Sam Brown led the Penguins with 10 kills, and she added a match-best four aces. Sarah Varcolla added two aces and led all players with six blocks. Setter Heather Splinter, making her first career start in place of an injured Val Jeffery, finished with 21 assists and an ace.

Cleveland State showed its offensive prowess in the first set by hitting .545 en route to the 25-22 win. The Vikings, who came into the match leading the Horizon League in attack percentage and kills per set, did not trail in the opening set but also led by no more than four. Brown had five kills and all four of her aces in the first set, two of which came consecutively to bring YSU within 21-20.

In the second set, back-to-back kills by Varcolla and Erin Kalahar and a Splinter ace put the Penguins up 10-6 for their largest lead of the match. Cleveland State rallied to tie the score at 11, and the Vikings went on a 9-1 run shortly after to go up 20-14.  YSU got no closer than four the rest of the set.

Cleveland State did not trail in the third set and separated with a 6-2 run after YSU had gotten within 12-11 following a Splinter kill. YSU trailed just 20-18 late before Cleveland State ended the match on a 5-2 spurt.

Youngstown State will play its first Horizon League road matches next weekend with contests at Valparaiso and Wright State.