PITTSBURGH, PA. – The Cleveland State volleyball team wrapped up the first weekend of the 2019 campaign Saturday, facing a pair of teams that were receiving votes in the Preseason Top-25 poll in South Carolina and Cincinnati.
Senior middle hitter Trinniti Hall was named to the Panther Challenge All-Tournament Team, after combining for 33 total kills and 11 total blocks on the weekend. Hall, who averaged 3.00 kills and a 1.00 blocks per set, had a weekend-best performance against South Carolina with 17 kills, seven digs and five blocks.
South Carolina 3, Cleveland State 2 | PDF BOX SCORE
In Saturday's first match, the Vikings dropped a five-set thriller against South Carolina, marking the first five-set match of the 2019 campaign.
Trinniti Hall and Hannah Greene led the Viking offense with 17 kills each, while London Portis and Lydia Latimer each added seven kills. Greene's 17-kill performance against South Carolina marked a career-high for the junior.
Christina Grecol recorded 42 assists on the match along with 14 digs, posting her first double-double of the season.
As a team, the Vikings posted 12.0 total blocks, marking the second straight match that CSU has tallied 10 or more blocks as a team. Greene posted a team-best six blocks, while Grecol and Hall both added five.
After dropping the first set, the Vikings rebounded to pick up wins in the second and third sets, gaining a 2-1 advantage after three frames.
During the second set, the Vikings earned a commanding 25-13 victory after posting a .560 hitting percentage as a team with 15 total kills on the frame. Cleveland State got out to a 13-3 lead in the set following an 8-0 run that was capped off by back-to-back kills from Hall and DeGeorge.
The Vikings were then able to hold this advantage for the remainder of the set, posting the final four points of the frame on Hall and Latimer kills and a Greene and Grecol block.
During the third frame both teams battled back-and-forth, until the Vikings were able to gain a four-point lead at 22-18 following a Greene and DeGeorge block. Although South Carolina posted the next two points, the Vikings were able to close out the frame with a Greene kill and a Tout service ace – one of four aces for the Cleveland State libero.
Despite holding a 2-1 advantage heading into the fourth set, the Vikings dropped a tightly contested 25-23 frame, forcing the match into a fifth and deciding set.
During the final frame, the Vikings were able to gain an early 3-0 advantage after starting with back-to-back kills from Greene and Hall, but South Carolina responded with a 5-2 run that knotted the frame at 5-5.
The two teams then traded points over the next few plays, until South Carolina was able to notch five straight points to gain a 13-8 lead. South Carolina then went on to win the set and claim the 3-2 match victory.
Cincinnati 3, Cleveland State 0 | PDF BOX SCORE
Facing their third ranked or receiving votes opponent of the weekend, the Vikings came up short against Cincinnati in the Panther Challenge finale.
Greene recorded three total blocks on the match, and has now posted three or more blocks in every match this season.
Cleveland State will continue non-league play at Bowling Green next weekend, taking part in the Hampton Inn Bowling Green Invitational. The Vikings will face Butler and Charlotte on Friday, September 6, before taking on the host Falcons on Saturday, September 7.