CLEVELAND, Ohio – Behind a total team effort, the Cleveland State volleyball team picked up a thrilling five-set victory over UIC on Friday evening, improving to 15-8 overall this year and 9-2 in Horizon League action.
Sara Skeens led the Viking offense with 16 kills on the night, while Rachel Stover and Trinniti Hall both recorded 15 kills. Stover tied her career-high with her 15-kill performance, matching her effort that she had against Bowling Green earlier this year.
Christina Grecol captained the offense with a career-high 57 assists on Cleveland State's 59 kills, while she also tallied seven digs and two blocks.
As a team, the Vikings tied their season-best mark with 17.0 total blocks, including a career-high tying 10 from Hannah Greene. Stover added eight blocks for the Vikings, while DeGeorge finished with a career-best seven blocks.
During the opening set, the Vikings were able to battle for a 27-25 victory after playing from behind for the majority of the frame. Late in the first frame, Cleveland State trailed 20-15, but a 7-2 run from the Vikings tied the set at 22-22 on a Stover and Hall block. The two teams then traded points over the next few plays, with Cleveland State gaining set-point at 24-23 on a UIC error. The Flames responded with two straight points to gain their own 25-24 advantage, but three straight points from the Vikings to close out the set gave Cleveland State the 1-0 advantage in the match.
After dropping the next two sets, the Vikings rebounded in the fourth frame, earning a 25-18 victory to even the match and force a fifth and deciding frame. The Vikings were able to get out to a 4-1 lead at the start of the frame, and then went on to hold the advantage for the rest of the set. After gaining a 19-12 lead on a Stover kill, the Vikings cruised to a 25-18 victory, picking up the final point on a UIC error.
Despite getting out to a quick 3-1 lead in the fifth frame, the Vikings weren't able to hold on to the advantage for long, as UIC stormed back to even the set at 5-5. Both teams then traded points over the next few plays, until Cleveland State was able to gain an 11-7 lead on a Greene and Stover block. UIC was once again able to work its way back into the frame though, tying the set at 11-11 before the Vikings once again gained a one-point lead following a UIC service error. Cleveland State then posted three of the final four points, closing out the 15-12 fifth set victory with back-to-back kills from Hall.
Cleveland State will host league-leading Green Bay at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, October 27).