Miami takes pair of weekend games
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 01:09
After suffering its first defeat of the season at the hands of Xavier University Tuesday, the Miami University volleyball team showed its resolve as it downed Saint Louis University 3-2 (22-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-19, 17-15), Bradley University 3-2 (26-24, 25-13, 26-28, 22-25, 15-10), and Youngstown State University 3-2 (25-16, 27-25, 19-25, 16-25, 15-9) on its way to winning their third non-conference tournament this season. The RedHawks (8-1) are off to their best start since 1998 when they also started 8-1 on their way to earning the Mid-American Conference title.
In the first set against Saint Louis, Miami got off to a quick start with a 4-2 run, but Billiken runs of 8-2, 6-0, and 4-1 proved to be the ’Hawks downfall as they dropped the set 22-25. Saint Louis took their offensive spurts into the second set as they took an early 6-3 advantage, but the RedHawks would counter with an 11-2 run that gave them control and eventually took the set 25-21.
The Billikens jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the third set that they would not relinquish as they took the set 25-18 to go up 2-1 in the match. After being knotted up 7-7 in the fourth set, the RedHawks went on an 11-5 run and, despite a late surge from Saint Louis, would win the set 25-19.
The final set was hotly contested as it was tied at 14-14 before Miami took the last two points and the match.
Junior setter/outside hitter Meg Riley earned her fifth double-double this season as she posted 19 kills, 19 assists and six digs in the match while freshman Krista Brakauskas had a solid outing of her own, with 27 of the team’s 52 assists.
“Saint Louis has hard hitters and we’ll see those again when we enter conference play,” head coach Carolyn Condit said.
After trading blows with Bradley in the first set, Miami would go on a 5-1 run to go up 14-11 and did not give it up as the set was won 26-24. The second set was tied 6-6 a 15-3 run that led to a 25-13 set win.
Set three would be a back-and-forth affair until the Braves reeled off two consecutive points to take the set 28-26. After an early 8-5 run by Bradley in the fourth set, the Red and White would respond to take the lead 10-9 prior to exchanging points until the Braves won the set 25-22 on a 5-2 run. The ’Hawks took an early 5-3 lead in the fifth and went on to win 15-10.
Riley recorded yet another double-double with 13 kills, 20 assists and five digs while Brakauskas had a career-high 33 assists and senior libero Madison Hardy posted 20 digs.
After being down 9-10 in the first set against Youngstown State (4-6), the RedHawks came back with a 7-1 run and never relented as they took the set 25-16. The second set was more contested as the ’Hawks won 27-25.
The Penguins fought back in the third and fourth set, winning the third 25-19 and the fourth 25-16, respectively. The clinching set was a tight-knit affair as no team would pull itself away until Miami had 11-3 advantage and would take the match 15-9.
Riley was named Tournament MVP after her near triple-double performance with 12 kills, 22 assists and eight digs in the final match. Riley, Brakauskas and sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig were named to the All-Tournament Team. Brakauskas racked up 94 assists during the tournament and Reiswig recording 34 kills during the three matches.
“Meg stepped up and [redshirt sophomore middle hitter Jenny] Ingle played well,” Condit said. “It was a neat tournament since there were different styles that we had to adjust to. Reiswig hit well and got some blocks, and Brakauskas did a nice job mixing up the offense and setting up quality balls. I’m proud of the way Ingle and [junior middle hitter Chelsea] Visk played and Hardy did a nice job [against Youngstown]. We fought hard and we built on our chemistry this weekend.”
Brakauskas said she was pleased with the RedHawks play.
“They’re really good teams,” she said. “We shut it down and our passing was spot on. But we went to five sets to each time because we had to make it hard on ourselves. We went through a hard week to come through in a big tournament and it showed our physical and mental toughness.”