Sophomore Margaux Thompson had a strong showing with 13 kills and 19 digs as the Youngstown State volleyball team fell 3-0 at Cleveland State on Friday night in the Horizon League opener for both teams. The set scores were 25-17, 25-19, 26-24.
Thompson's 13 kills came on a match-high 47 swings, and she hit .213. She led the Penguins in both kills and digs, and she was one of five YSU players with an ace. Aleah Hughes had eight kills and 15 digs while hitting .250.
While Thompson carried the load for the Penguins, Sara Skeens led the preseason-favorite Vikings. She posted 16 kills on just 30 attempts, and she limited her errors to just three. Three other Vikings had at least nine kills, and Rachel Dohar contributed a match-best 27 digs.
Cleveland State held YSU to a .080 attack percentage in the first set and a minus-0.22 mark in the second, but the Penguins rebounded to hit .255 in the closely-fought third.
CSU led wire-to-wire in the opening set, and the Vikings scored six straight points early in the second set to go up 7-4. The Penguins never caught up, but they got within three as late as 22-19 before the Vikings scored the final three points of the set.
In the third, the margin was within two points until Youngstown state took an 18-14 lead on a block by Hughes and Sarah Varcolla. YSU held the lead until a Skeens kill tied the score at 21. Thompson countered with a kill to give the Penguins their final lead at 22-21, and Skeens had kills to bookend a 3-0 run that gave CSU a pair of match points. Thompson had a kill and an ace to tie the set at 24-all, but kills by Skeens and Emily DeGeorge allowed the Vikings to win 26-24.
Youngstown State will head to Rochester, Mich., to take on Oakland on Saturday at 4 p.m.