Volleyball Beats George Mason, Falls to UNC Wilmington

Aleah Hughes (Photo by Matt Milligan)
Aleah Hughes (Photo by Matt Milligan)

The Youngstown State volleyball team split a pair of four-set matches on Saturday to conclude its play at the 2018 Jefferson Cup. The Penguins topped George Mason (28-26, 21-25, 25-16, 25-16) in the morning, and they fell to tournament champion UNC Wilmington (25-15, 23-25, 25-15, 25-21) in the afternoon.

Aleah Hughes and Margaux Thompson both had double-doubles in both matches for the Penguins, and Hughes went on to earn all-tournament team honors.

Against George Mason, YSU made a lineup switch after the second set and went on to post 28 kills and just five errors over the final two sets. The Penguins had 31 kills and 17 errors in the first two.

Youngstown State scored the first five points of the opening set, but it fell behind by two four different times before holding on for the 28-26 win. YSU went on a 7-1 run to turn an 18-16 deficit into a 23-19 lead, and it scored three straight points after the Patriots had a 26-25 lead. Brooklen Pe'a and Valor Haggerty combined for a block to tie the score, Thompson followed with a kill and George Mason had an attack error to end the set.

YSU used a 6-2 offense in the second set and fell 25-21, but the Penguins switched back to a 5-1 with Alexia Byrnes setting for the final two sets and hit .359 in a pair of 25-16 wins.

YSU scored six straight points to go up 15-8 after a Thompson kill, and the lead surged to 24-14 following another 6-0 run that Hughes capped with a kill. The Penguins then scored eight of the first 10 points in the fourth set and led by at least three the rest of the match.

Thompson had 16 kills and 16 digs, and Hughes finished with 14 kills and 14 digs. Brooklen Pe'a registered nine kills, and Valor Haggerty had seven kills in just 11 attempts.

Against UNCW, Hughes had 13 kills and 18 digs while Thompson posted 10 kills and 12 digs. The Seahawks outhit the Penguins .326-.114 for the match.

After dropping the first set 25-15, YSU trailed 17-14 in the second before rallying to even the match. The Penguins went on a 9-2 run to take a 23-19 lead, and kills by Hughes and Sarah Varcolla ended the set.

YSU then led 7-3 in the third, but UNCW scored seven of the next eight points to take a 10-8 lead. The Seahawks did not trail again in the match.

Youngstown State begins a four-match week on Tuesday as it plays at Robert Morris at 6 p.m.