WVU Volleyball Takes NonCon Win

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    Following another 20-kill performance from senior outside hitter Katelyn Evans, the West Virginia University volleyball team claimed a 3-1 win over Morehead State on Tuesday evening, inside Johnson Arena, in Morehead, Kentucky. The Mountaineers rolled to the victory in set scores of 25-21, 23-25, 25-23 and 25-11.

    With the win, West Virginia moved to 10-8 on the year (1-4 Big 12). The Mountaineers finished the season with a 9-4 record in nonconference play and are 47-24 all-time in non-league matches under fifth-year coach Reed Sunahara. Despite the loss, Morehead State sits at 14-5 on the season.

    “Tonight’s win was big for us,” Sunahara said. “I thought our players bounced back and played well in the final two sets. Winning on the road isn’t easy, so it was nice to walk away with a victory. Hopefully, we can carry this momentum into Saturday’s match against Texas.”

    Evans used another 20-kill performance, recording 21 kills for a .370 hitting efficiency, to lead the Mountaineers to victory. The Palmdale, California, native notched her sixth double-digit match of the season and fifth 20-kill performance of her career. Junior middle blocker Katie DeMeo also hit a team-high .417 in the match, posting five kills on the evening.

    Sophomore setter Lacey Zerwas dished out 42 of the Mountaineers’ 48 assists. The Phoenix, Arizona, native also dug 14 balls in the match to post her sixth double-double of the season. Junior defensive specialist Alexa Hasting added 14 digs to round out the Mountaineers in double-figures.

    Redshirt junior Audrey Adams led the team’s blocking efforts with a career-high nine total blocks, recording one solo stop and eight block assists on the evening.

    Additionally, sophomore outside hitter Kristin Lux and Zerwas each served up a pair of aces in the match.

    West Virginia capped the night hitting .237, the ninth time this season the squad has hit .225 or better. The Mountaineers registered 49 kills on 139 total attempts with 12 team blocks and 72 digs. Olivia Lohmeier had 21 kills to lead the Eagles, who hit .112 with 55 kills and five team blocks.

    Behind seven kills from Evans, the Mountaineers took the first set, 25-21. A kill from Evans started a 3-0 scoring run for WVU, as the Mountaineers took a 13-9 lead midway through the frame. Senior right-side hitter Erin Slinde later put down a kill, as an Eagle error increased the Mountaineers’ lead to six at 17-11. Morehead State hung around though, as the squads exchanged points down the stretch. The Eagles took advantage of a Mountaineer miscue, serving up an ace on the next ball to cut their deficit to two at 20-18. West Virginia called a timeout to regroup, as Evans placed one through the defenders out of the stoppage. MSU answered with back-to-back kills of its own to bring the Eagles within one at 21-20, but WVU went on to score four of the last five points to capture the 25-21 victory and 1-0 match lead.

    Losing a four-point lead late in the frame, the Mountaineers dropped the second set by a score of 25-23. With West Virginia holding a 21-17 lead, Morehead State rattled off three in a row to come within one at 21-20. WVU capitalized on an MSU attacking error, but three straight kills from Lohmeier, followed by a Mountaineer miscue, brought the Eagles to set point at 24-22. Junior middle blocker Briana Lynch found the floor to keep the Mountaineers’ hopes alive, but another kill from Lohmeier put away the set in favor of the Eagles, tying the overall match score at 1-1.

    Morehead State used a 6-0 scoring streak to jump out to an 8-5 lead early in the third. West Virginia called a timeout to refocus, but the Eagles went on another 4-0 scoring run to push their lead to five at 13-8. The Mountaineers did not back down though, scoring six-of-seven points down the stretch to knot the score at 18-all. The two squads continued to exchange points, as MSU put down back-to-back kills for the 23-21 advantage late in the frame. Consecutive kills from Evans tied the set once again, as DeMeo and Slinde teamed up for the block to help WVU reach set point at 24-23. Evans buried another one through the pins on the next serve, capturing the 25-23 victory and 2-1 lead in the match.

    The Mountaineers racked up six in a row for the 13-7 lead in the fourth and never looked back. Another 3-0 scoring streak pushed WVU’s lead to nine at 18-9. An MSU kill halted the Mountaineers’ run, but West Virginia continued to roll, scoring seven of the last eight points for the 25-11 fourth-set victory and 3-1 triumph in the match.

    Up next, the Mountaineers will resume Big 12 action on Saturday, Oct. 19, as the squad welcomes perennial national powerhouse No. 4 Texas to the WVU Coliseum at 1 p.m. Saturday’s match is a Gold Rush, and all fans are encouraged to wear gold. Coca-Cola will provide a giveaway item, and the Mountaineers will Lace up for Pediatric Cancer. WVU also will sign autographs following the match.

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