LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Cleveland State volleyball team began its final preseason tournament of the 2019 campaign Friday, dropping a pair of hard fought matches against No. 15 Kentucky and Indiana at the Bluegrass Battle.
No. 15 Kentucky 3, Cleveland State 0 | PDF BOX SCORE
For the second time this season the Vikings faced off against a top-15 team, as the Wildcats entered this weekend's tournament ranked 15th nationally.
Freshman Lydia Latimer led the Viking offense against Kentucky, posting 12 kills for the first double-digit kill effort of her collegiate career. Latimer recorded her 12 kills on a .370 hitting percentage, which also marked a season-best for the rookie.
During the opening set the two teams traded points until the midway part of the frame, when Kentucky used a 5-1 run to gain momentum and take control of the set. The Wildcats went on to earn a 25-17 victory in the opening frame.
It was much the same during the second frame, as the Vikings were able to hang with the Wildcats through the first part of the set and even held a sizeable advantage early on.
After getting out to a 5-3 lead following a pair of Kentucky errors, the Vikings were able to extend their lead to 9-5 after four straight points to force a Kentucky timeout. During this stretch the Vikings had a pair of kills from DeGeorge and Latimer and a DeGeorge service ace.
Following the timeout, Kentucky responded with an 8-2 run to regain control of the set though, and went on to earn the 25-19 second set victory.
The Wildcats then went on to claim the third set, capturing the 3-0 match victory.
Indiana 3, Cleveland State 1 | PDF BOX SCORE
The Vikings faced their fifth Power Five opponent of the 2019 campaign in their second match of the Bluegrass Battle, dropping a 3-1 contest against Indiana.
Christina Grecol recorded 33 assists on the match, finishing the day with 1,376 career helpers.
Lindsey Tout led the Viking defense with a career-high 22 digs, marking the third 20-dig match of the year for the sophomore. Emily DeGeorge added 13 digs for the Vikings, while Christina Grecol and Julia Piccolino each posted seven.
As a team, the Vikings recorded 13.0 total blocks, marking the fourth time this season that CSU has recorded double-digit blocks. Hall led the Vikings with a career-high nine blocks, while Greene added four and London Portis posted three.
After dropping the first set the Vikings responded by picking up a 25-21 victory in the second frame.
The two teams traded points throughout the opening part of the set, leading to a 16-16 tie midway through the frame. The Vikings were then able to string together four straight points on a trio of kills from Keanna Avery and DeGeorge and a Greene block, gaining a four-point lead at the 20-16 mark.
Cleveland State went on to hold off the Hoosiers throughout the remainder of the frame, finally putting the set away on a Hall kill to even the match at one set each heading into the intermission.
Indiana was then able to pick up a win during the third frame, gaining a 2-1 match lead heading into the fourth set.
The two teams battled back-and-forth throughout the fourth set – a frame that featured 18 ties – until the Hoosiers were finally able to post back-to-back points to claim the 26-24 fourth set victory, and claim the match 3-1.
Cleveland State will close out the Bluegrass Battle tomorrow afternoon (Saturday, September 14), facing FGCU at 1:00 p.m.