Penguins Beat UNLV on First-Day Split at Duquesne

Erin Kalahar (left) and Sarah Varcolla (Photo by David Dermer)
Erin Kalahar (left) and Sarah Varcolla (Photo by David Dermer)

The Youngstown State volleyball team split its two matches at the Duquesne Invitational on Friday, earning a 3-2 victory over UNLV and falling 3-0 to Bowling Green.

The win over the Rebels was a long and emotional one as YSU rebounded from a 25-14 loss in the first set to take the second 25-22, the third 26-24 and the fifth 15-9. The Penguins then had just over an hour before taking the floor against Bowling Green, which had rested for almost four hours.

Against UNLV, the Penguins registered a season-best .244 attack percentage and tied a season high with 13 blocks en route to the five-set win. UNLV held a 72-53 advantage in kills, but the Rebels committed eight more attack errors and nine more serving errors than the Penguins.

Aleah Hughes led the Penguins offensively with 16 kills while adding 12 digs, and Sarah Varcolla registered eight blocks to go along with five kills. Margaux Thompson also had a double-double with 10 kills and a match-high 22 digs.

YSU overcame an impressive match from UNLV's Mariena Hayden, who posted a school-record nine aces, 26 kills and 18 digs.

In the second match, Bowling Green hit .312 and had 45 kills in the three-setter that it won 25-20, 25-18, 25-14.

Thompson was YSU's top attacker against the Falcons with 10 kills, and Hughes finished with a team-high 11 digs.

Youngstown State will finish play at the Duquesne Invitational against the host Dukes on Saturday at 3 p.m. Duquesne beat Bowling Green 3-2 but fell 3-1 to  UNLV on Friday.