MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Behind a balanced offensive attack, the Cleveland State volleyball team picked up its second 3-0 sweep of the young season Friday evening, earning a straight-set victory at Central Michigan. Friday's match, which was the first of two at the Chippewa Challenge for the Vikings, improved Cleveland State to 4-3 on the year.
· The Vikings had a balanced offense against Central Michigan, with six players recording five or more kills on the match.
· Trinniti Hall led the team with nine kills, while Rachel Stover and Alexis Middlebrooks both added seven kills.
· Gina Kilner recorded six kills of her own, while Mariah Carrero-Johnson and Emily DeGeorge both posted five.
· Gina Kilner also chipped in 30 assists on the match.
· Shannon Grega had a team-best 13 digs, while Gina Kilner and Rachael Dohar both tallied five
· Mariah Carrero-Johnson led the Vikings with five total blocks, while Rachel Stover and Alexis Middlebrooks both added four.
· As a team, the Vikings notched 10.0 total blocks.
· Cleveland State hit a season-best .366 (39-9-82) as a team.
· Shannon Grega extended her streak of consecutive matches with a service ace, as she has now tallied at least one ace in all seven contests this season.
· The 10.0 total team blocks on the night marked the third time this season that Cleveland State has recorded double-digit blocks.
· Friday's match marked the second 3-0 sweep of the season for the Vikings.
Cleveland State had to battle for the 25-20 victory during the opening set, with a back-and-forth frame until the very end. Both teams traded points until midway through the set, when Cleveland State went on a four-point run to gain a 19-17 advantage following a pair of kills from Trinniti Hall and Gina Kilner and a pair of CMU errors. After forcing a Central Michigan timeout, the Vikings extended their lead with another point from a Kilner kill, and went on to hold the advantage for the rest of the frame. The final three points of the set came from a trio of Viking kills – two from Mariah Carrero-Johnson and one from Rachel Stover.
The second set was much of the same, as both teams traded points until the 12-12 mark, when Cleveland State rallied off four straight points to break the tie and gain a 16-12 lead following an Alexis Middlebrooks kill. Although the Vikings went on to hold the lead for the rest of the frame, they had to hold off a fighting Central Michigan team, not completely closing out the set until the final two points. Cleveland State was finally able to close out the frame with a Kilner kill and a CMU error.
During the third set Cleveland State was able to jump out to a 7-2 lead, but Central Michigan fought its way back into the frame, and kept things close throughout the majority of the set. After trading points – and leads – throughout the next few plays, Cleveland State was able to gain a four-point advantage after recording five straight points, earning a 22-18 lead after forcing a CMU error. The Vikings once again had to hold off a battling CMU team, fighting to earn the 25-21 set victory following a Carrero-Johnson kill.
CSU Career Record Book
· With four total blocks against CMU, Alexis Middlebrooks moved into seventh place in the CSU Career Record Book with 374 total blocks.
· Gina Kilner became the fifth Viking all-time to eclipse the 3,500-assist mark, ending the match with 3,501 after a 30-assist performance against the Chippewas.
· Cleveland State will close out the Chippewa Challenge tomorrow (Saturday, September 9), facing Indiana State at 2:30 p.m.