Colonials beat Penguins in four sets


Jonathan Hanna

Moon Township, PA — The Robert Morris Colonials volleyball team (4-7, 0-0 NEC) faced off against the Youngstown State Penguins (6-5, 0-0 Horizon League) for the 36th all-time meeting between the two schools, winning 3-1. The North Athletic Complex was full for the Class of 2022 Night, sponsored by the First Year Seminar Program (FYSP) mentors.

The Colonials have now won four out of their last five, and when asked about their recent success, head coach Dale Starr said, “When you lose your first six, you gotta figure out how to win, how to make those plays in crunch time. We have a tough weekend coming up, and our goal is to get better every game going into conference play.”

In the first set, the Colonials started strong, jumping out to an early 15-6 lead. The Penguins went on a 13-5 run to get the game within one point, making it 20-19 RMU lead. The last few points were back and forth, and Robert Morris won the first set, 25-23. The Colonials had two aces in the first set by Emma Granger and Taylor Lord.

The second set started well for the Colonials, with Taylor Lord scoring three kills in a row early in the set. The Colonials again started the set strong, with an early 14-5 lead. The Penguins went on a short 6-3 run, but the Colonials’ early lead was too much for the Penguins, as RMU won their second set, 25-15. Robert Morris had a 0.333 hitting percentage in the second set as compared to Youngstown State’s 0.192 percentage.

In the third set, both teams started out strong, with the largest lead being by 3 in favor of the Colonials. After a review of a Youngstown State point, the score was 13-12 Colonials, and the scoring then went back and forth between the two teams. After the Penguins last timeout of the set, with the score 23-22 in favor of the Colonials, the Penguins won the set 26-24, after three straight points by the Penguins.

For the fourth and final set, the Colonials once again started out with the early 8-3 lead. The Penguins came back on a 5-1 run, and the lead would ebb and flow for the Colonials, but they stayed in the lead. With a 20-14 Robert Morris lead, the Penguins took their final timeout of the set. On match point with the score 24-15, the Colonials libero, Allie Yurkovich, scores an ace to win the set 25-15, and the Colonials won the match 3-1.

For the Colonials, the sophomore from Dalton, Ohio; Emma Granger, was the leader for the team. She had 25.5 points, 18 kills, 5 aces, 4 blocks, and a 0.567 hitting percentage, all of which led the team and the game. When asked about her dominating performance, Granger said, “It feels really awesome, but I couldn’t do it without my team, so it’s great that they were all able to have good games, and I could have the one I did.”

This weekend, the Colonials host the RMU Sheraton Invitational, playing against Eastern Michigan (8-3, 0-0 MAC) on Friday at 4:00 p.m., and a doubleheader on Saturday, with a game against the University of Houston (11-1, 0-0 American) at 10:00 a.m., and the second game against the University of Purdue at Fort Wayne (7-4, 0-0 Summit League) at 4:00 p.m.