HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The Cleveland State volleyball team wrapped up regular season play Saturday, dropping a heartbreaking five-set decision at Northern Kentucky. The Vikings finished regular season play with a 17-11 overall record, including an 11-5 mark in Horizon League play.
After finishing the regular season with an 11-5 mark in league play, the Vikings enter the 2018 #HLVB Tournament as the No. 2 seed and will begin play with a semifinal contest on Saturday, November 17. This year's tournament will be hosted at regular season champion Green Bay.
Portis' 10 kills marked a career-high for the freshman.
Defensively, the Vikings tallied a season-high 116 digs as a team, led by DeGeorge who finished with 30 digs. Rachael Dohar added 26 digs for the Vikings, while MacKenzie Conner posted 19 in her first match serving as the Cleveland State libero. Jordan Verbiak added 17 digs, while Christina Grecol chipped in 12 digs for the match.
With her 26 digs against Northern Kentucky, Dohar recorded her 1,000th career dig, ending the match with 1,019. For the season, Dohar has now recorded 15 20-dig matches, owning 557 total digs.
DeGeorge and Grecol both recorded double-doubles on the match, marking the seventh of the season for both Vikings.
Cleveland State finished with 16.0 total team blocks against Northern Kentucky, marking the 18th double-digit team block performance for the Vikings this season. Hannah Greene and Ambre Pierce both recorded nine total blocks on the match, while Trinniti Hall added five.
The nine blocks from Pierce marked a career-high for the redshirt sophomore.
After dropping the first set, the Vikings bounced back to pick up wins in the second and third frames, to gain a 2-1 lead in the match.
During the second set, the two teams exchanged leads throughout the entire frame, until Cleveland State was able to even the frame at 23-23 on a Portis kill. The Vikings were able to gain set point on another Portis kill on the next play, but NKU was able to fight off Cleveland State's first set point and even the score at 24-24. The Vikings were then able to gain another set point on a DeGeorge kill, and despite NKU recording the next point, the Vikings were finally able to put the frame away with back-to-back points on Hall and DeGeorge kills to earn the 27-25 second set victory.
The third set was much of the same, as both teams traded points throughout the entire frame until a 3-0 run gave Cleveland State a 23-20 advantage on another DeGeorge kill. The Vikings were then able to gain set point at 24-21, but a 3-0 run from the Norse forced the set into extra points once again. The two teams traded leads over the next few plays, until the Vikings recorded back-to-back points on a Pierce and Greene block and an NKU error for the 28-26 third set victory.
The Norse rebounded with a win in the fourth set then, forcing the match into a fifth and deciding set. During the final frame, the Norse were able to get out to an 8-4 lead midway through the set, and then went on to control play for the remainder of the set, earning a 15-9 victory to capture the match.