Brooklen Pe'a had 12 kills, and Aleah Hughes posted nine kills and 10 digs as the Youngstown State volleyball team lost in straight sets to UIC on Friday evening. The set scores in YSU's first conference match this season in Beeghly Center were 25-19, 25-16, 25-23.
Pe'a's 12 kills came on just 24 attempts, and the sophomore committed just two errors for a .417 attack percentage. Hughes had nine kills in 19 attempts, and Erin Kalahar added eight kills for the Penguins.
Emily Kelly came off the bench to lead UIC with 14 kills on a .323 attack percentage, and UIC hit .252 as a team.
UIC battled through 10 ties and four lead changes in the first set, and Youngstown State led as late as 15-14. The Flames got hot after the media timeout at 15-13 and went on to score 12 of the final 16 points of the set to win 25-19.
The score was tied as late as 11-11 in the second set, and the Penguins trailed just 15-14 following a Kalahar kill. But UIC closed the set on a 10-2 spurt, and the Flames went on to score the first eight points of the third. After falling behind by as many as 11 and 19-10 later in the third, YSU battled back and got within a point four different times. Kalahar's eighth kill of the night saved one match point, but UIC's Kiera James had a kill on the second match point to finish the win.
Youngstown State hit .279 in the third set and .179 overall in the match, which was its best percentage so far in three Horizon League matches.
The Penguins will return to Beeghly Center on Saturday afternoon to host Milwaukee. It will be the program's breast cancer awareness match, and t-shirts and wristbands will be on sale to raise funds in support of the Side-Out Foundation.