Penguins Beat Toledo in Five Behind Varcolla's 20 Kills

Sarah Varcolla (Photo by Regina Thompson)
Sarah Varcolla (Photo by Regina Thompson)

Sarah Varcolla finished with 20 kills, and the Youngstown State volleyball team outlasted Toledo for a five-set victory on Saturday to close out the Penguins' non-conference schedule. The set scores were 23-25, 25-18, 25-20, 14-25, 16-14.

Varcolla's 20 kills came on 48 attempts, and she finished the weekend averaging 3.09 kills per set on a .325 attack percentage and 1.18 blocks per set. The junior from New Philadelphia, Ohio, was YSU's representative on the all-tournament team as she led the Penguins to a 2-1 showing at the Blue/Gold Invitational.

Margaux Thompson was strong with 14 kills on a .308 attack percentage while adding 21 digs, and Erin Kalahar contributed a career-high 11 kills. Kalahar, Varcolla and Libbie Darling each had two aces, and YSU finished with nine as a team. Lauren Blanco paced the defense with 23 digs.

Annie Beasley led Toledo with 16 kills on a .406 attack percentage.

After the Rockets held on to win the first set 25-23, Youngstown State led for the entirety of the second set to even the match on a 25-18 win. Thompson and Varcolla combined for 13 kills in the set, and the Penguins registered 18 kills collectively and were successful on 83 percent of its sideout attempts. Youngstown State then had five aces in a 25-20 win in the third to go up 2-1 in the match.

Toledo used five blocks and held YSU to four kills in the fourth set to win 25-14 to force a decisive fifth set. There were nine ties and four lead changes in the fifth set, and the Penguins scored the final four points of the match to claim the come-from-behind victory. Kills from Sam Brown, Kalahar and Valor Haggerty gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead, and YSU led 11-9 before Toledo made its run. The Rockets went on a 5-1 spurt to set up two match points, but the next three points ended in two attack errors and a set error by Toledo. Kalahar and Morgan Tippie then blocked Emma Swope on YSU's first match point.

Youngstown State will begin Horizon League play next weekend with a pair of road matches. The Penguins will play at UIC on Friday at 7 p.m. Eastern, and they will play at Green Bay on Saturday at 5 p.m. Eastern.