CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State volleyball team opened the 2018 season with a pair of wins Friday, picking up a 3-1 victory over Binghamton and a 3-0 sweep on Montana State on the first day of the CSU Invitational.
Cleveland State 3, Binghamton 1 | PDF Box Score
For the 12th time under head coach Chuck Voss the Vikings picked up a win in their first match of the season, earning a 3-1 victory over Binghamton. This marked the fourth meeting between the two teams, with Cleveland State now owning a 3-1 advantage in the overall series.
Sara Skeens led the Viking offense with 15 kills, while Trinniti Hall added 10 kills. Christina Grecol served as Cleveland State's setter in her first collegiate appearance, recording 30 assists along with six digs and three kills.
Jordan Verbiak guided the Viking defense with a career-high 22 digs – the first 20-dig match of her career – while Emily DeGeorge added 15 digs. As a team, the Vikings recorded 67 total digs and 17 total team blocks, holding Binghamton to a .050 hitting percentage.
MacKenzie Conner also saw action in her first collegiate match against the Bearcats, finishing with six digs and two assists.
During the opening set Cleveland State had to come back from a five-point deficit at 15-10, going on a 9-3 run to regain control of the match at 19-18 on back-to-back kills from Greene and Skeens. This run from the Vikings forced a Bearcat timeout, and despite Binghamton posting the next four points out of the timeout, Cleveland State responded with a 6-0 run to close the frame and earn the 25-22 victory.
Binghamton was able to even the match with a 25-17 victory in the second set then, but the Vikings answered with convincing wins in the third and fourth frames to take the match.
Despite getting out to a slow start in the third set, Cleveland State went on an 11-2 run midway through the frame to gain a 19-9 lead on a pair of blocks from Stover, Pierce and Hall. The Vikings were then able to control the rest of the set, posting the final two points on a Grecol kill and a Stover and Greene block.
The fourth set was much of the same, as the Vikings quickly jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Binghamton was able to get on the scoreboard, and then extended their advantage to 16-7 on a Greene solo block. Cleveland State's defense held Binghamton to just five more points during the frame, as they cruised the 25-12 set victory on a Pierce kill.
Cleveland State 3, Montana State 0 | PDF Box Score
The Vikings picked up their first sweep of the season Friday, earning a 3-0 victory over Montana State to remain perfect on the season. Friday's contest marked the first meeting between the two teams in program history.
The Vikings combined for 41 kills on a .301 hitting percentage against the Bobcats, with Trinniti Hall recording nine kills and Emily DeGeorge and Sara Skeens both adding eight. Christina Grecol tallied 33 assists on the match, while Rachael Dohar recorded 16 digs and DeGeorge finished with 14 digs.
Cleveland State controlled play throughout the entire contest, holding the advantage for all but one point of the match.
During the first set, Cleveland State got out to a 7-0 lead, and then held a sizeable advantage for the remainder of the frame. After owning a 19-12 advantage, the Vikings posted the final six points of the set, earning the 25-12 victory on a Skeens kill and a Bobcat error.
The second set was much of the same, as the Vikings were able to gain a sizeable advantage early on at the 12-5 mark, and then went on to control play for the rest of the frame. Cleveland State's final point of the set came on a Stover kill, as the Vikings earned a 25-16 victory in the frame.
The start of the third set was much tighter, as both teams traded points throughout the first part of the frame. After going on a 4-0 run, Cleveland State was able to gain a 16-9 lead following a Grecol and Hall block, and then held this advantage for the rest of the set. Cleveland State's final two points of the frame came on a Hall kill and Skeens and Hall block, as the Vikings picked up the 25-18 set victory to clinch the match.
Cleveland State will close out the CSU Invitational against Canisius in a 1:30 p.m. contest tomorrow (Saturday, August 25).