The Youngstown State volleyball team took Oakland to five sets before falling 3-2 to the Golden Grizzlies on Saturday afternoon at Beeghly Center. The set scores were 25-17, 24-26, 22-25, 25-19, 15-6.
Margaux Thompson led the Penguins with 14 kills, six of which came in the third set as YSU took a 2-1 lead in the match. Thompson added 12 digs as one of five Penguins finishing with at least 11. Aleah Hughes also had a double-double with 13 kills and a team-best 14 digs, and Sarah Varcolla had seven blocks. Alexia Byrnes posted 24 assists.
Jamie Walling had a match-high 23 kills, and Krysteena Davis added 16 for the Golden Grizzlies. They combined for 39 of Oakland's 64 kills, and they hit a combined to hit .380.
The Golden Grizzlies scored seven straight points to take an 8-1 lead in the first set, and they held the upper hand by at least four the rest of the set.
Oakland then scored the first three points of the second set, but a Varcolla kill sparked a four-point run for the Penguins that made the score 4-3. Oakland led by three an additional three times before the Penguins caught up at 18 on a block by Varcolla and Hughes. Another Varcolla block with the help of Brooklen Pe'a gave the Penguins a 21-20 lead, and YSU's fifth block of the set came made the score 24-22. Oakland scored the next two points to tie the score, but a Golden Grizzlies attack error and a Hughes kill allowed YSU to win 26-24 and even the match.
Another fast start for Oakland allowed it to lead 7-2 in the third, and it still led by five at 13-8. The Penguins scored seven of the next eight points and took a 15-14 lead on a Pe'a kill. Oakland tied the score at 15, but it never regained the lead. Varcolla and Pe'a combined on two blocks during a 4-0 YSU run that made the score 19-15, and the Penguins led the rest of the way.
The script flipped in the fourth set as YSU was the early leader. A Varcolla kill put the Penguins ahead 12-8, but Oakland went on a 6-2 run to tie the score at 14. An Erin Kalahar kill gave the Penguins a 17-14 advantage, but Oakland turned the match with a 6-0 run on Maddie Lentz's serve to go up 20-17. The Golden Grizzlies extended the run to 11-2 as it won 25-19.
Oakland scored the first three points of the fifth set, and it scored five straight points later to extend its lead to an insurmountable 12-4.
Youngstown State will continue its four-match homestand on Friday as it hosts Green Bay at 6 p.m.