The Youngstown State volleyball team fell in straight sets at Milwaukee on Friday evening to begin its swing through Wisconsin. The set scores were 25-15, 25-13, 25-21.
Milwaukee hit .316 collectively, and it forced YSU into 17 errors over the first two sets. The Penguins made a lineup change in the third and rebounded to hit .333 in a competitive set.
Aleah Hughes led YSU with six kills, and Margaux Thompson and Giovanna Kuntze finished with nine digs. Thompson played libero the first two sets before switching to the left side. With that, along with switching to a 6-2 offense with Kuntze and Alexia Byrnes, the Penguins hit .333 with 13 kills with no errors in 39 attempts in the third set.
Carmen Heilemann had 11 kills in 15 attempts, and Milwaukee had four hitters finished with at least six kills and a .333 attack percentage.
In addition to Byrnes rejoining the lineup after missing a month, freshman Ashley Starzyk made her debut.
Milwaukee went on a 7-1 run to take control early in the first set, and an 8-1 run midway through the second allowed the Panthers to turn a 13-9 lead into a 21-10 advantage.
The third set was close throughout, and neither team led by more than two until the Panthers went ahead 19-16. YSU had leads of 14-13, 15-14 and 16-15, but that's when Heilemann had three straight kills during a 4-0 run that gave Milwaukee a 19-16 advantage. The Penguins tied the score at 19 when Sarah Varcolla and Valor Haggerty teamed up for a block, but UWM scored five of the next six points to set up match point. A Brooklen Pe'a kill saved the first before Abby Koenen's kill for Milwaukee ended the match.
Youngstown State will play at Green Bay on Saturday at 5 p.m. Eastern.