CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State volleyball team opened Horizon League play with a win Friday evening, picking up a 3-0 sweep against Youngstown State. With the win, the Vikings improve to 7-6 overall this season and 1-0 in league play.
This marks the second straight season that Cleveland State has picked up a win in its league opener, and the eighth time out of the last 11 years. Under head coach Chuck Voss, the Vikings are now 10-9 all-time in league openers.
The Cleveland State offense was led by Sara Skeens and Hannah Greene, Skeens with 16 kills and Greene with 10, while Emily DeGeorge and Trinniti Hall both chipped in nine kills. Christina Grecol recorded 42 assists on Cleveland State's 47 kills.
Defensively, the Vikings held Youngstown State to a .109 hitting percentage, with Rachael Dohar notching a team-high 27 digs and MacKenzie Conner adding 19. DeGeorge also posted 13 digs on the match, while Hall added 12.
Greene finished with a team-best five blocks, while DeGeorge and Hall both added three.
During the opening set the Vikings were able to jump out to a quick 9-3 lead following back-to-back kills from Skeens, and then went on to control play for the rest of the frame. After a Greene kill, Cleveland State was able to extend its lead to 21-15, forcing a Youngstown State timeout, and then went on to post four of the final five points to earn the 25-17 first set victory on a YSU error.
The Vikings had to overcome an early deficit during the second frame, battling back to gain a 9-6 lead on a Hall kill. After gaining this advantage, the Vikings were able to control momentum during the rest of the set, earning a 2-0 advantage in the match with a 25-19 second set victory.
The third set was much of the same, as the Vikings had to play from behind for the majority of the set. Cleveland State was finally able to tie the set at 21-21 on a Skeens kill, and then posted two of the next three points to gain a 23-22 lead on a Greene and Skeens block. A Skeens kill on the next play gave the Vikings set point at 24-22, but YSU responded with two straight points to tie the set once again at 24-24. The final two points went to the Vikings though, as back-to-back kills from Skeens and DeGeorge gave Cleveland State the 26-24 third set victory.
Cleveland State will hit the road for the first time during Horizon League play on Sunday (September 23), traveling to Oakland for a 2:00 p.m. contest.