Raiders topple Colonials in four sets


The Colonials fell in four sets to Wright State on Monday night, extending their losing streak to seven. Photo Credit: Tyler Gallo

By Tyler Gallo, Sports Editor

MOON TOWNSHIP– Robert Morris volleyball returned home after a rough road trip to Chicago and Fort Wayne where they dropped all four contests and 12 of 13 sets over the last three weeks. Wright State visited Moon Township for the first time since 2008.

The Colonials (0-7, 0-7 Horizon) battled closely all night long with the defending Horizon League Champion Raiders (7-1, 7-0), but Wright State won the match in four sets, extending RMU’s losing streak to seven games.

Despite the loss, head coach Dale Starr was proud of the squad’s effort against the reigning champs.

“Our only goal tonight was to compete, and they competed,” Starr said. “Our biggest problem has been competing to a consistent level. Part of coming out of the NEC is that we didn’t have to compete every night, and here we do. If we can compete two nights in a row, win or lose, I will feel that we are growing as a team.”

The first set was heavily contested as the teams battled tooth-and-nail for points, but the Raiders crept ahead and staked themselves to a 12-7 lead after firing off four consecutive points.

After a challenge went their way, RMU rattled five consecutive points of their own, bringing the set score to 14-12 and forcing head coach Allie Matters to take a timeout to stop the bleeding. It did not do much to do so as the Colonials tied the game up at 15.

The court tilted in the favor of the Raiders following this, drawing into the lead and Wright State ultimately finished off a close set 25-18 thanks to a bad set by Whitney Brown.

Another fiercely fought set occurred as the teams once again battled for the edge. While Wright State led for most of the early goings, the Colonials paced right behind them, tying the set up at nine through 18 points.

The Colonials got their first lead after this, firing up the bench when Hudak and Skylar Clements teamed up for a block. The remainder of the set was just as competitive as neither team could break away from the other. RMU lead 21-20 at a Wright State timeout and finished off their first set win since the UIC series 25-22.

After two sets, Alyssa Hudak led the Colonials with 21 total attacks, 11 kills and 12.5 points with Whitney Brown dishing 21 assists. On the other side, Celia Powers had 22 total attacks and nine points with Lainey Stephenson notching 19 assists.

The third set was just as contentious as the first two. Both sides traded leads through the first 15 points. Wright State sprinted to a four-point lead, RMU started a comeback and pushed Matters to take a timeout with the score at 23-20, but ultimately Wright State won the third set 25-20.

The fourth set was all Raiders as it became the first blowout set of the night and ultimately the final set. After going up by nine at one point, Wright State stormed to a 25-11 set win and a 3-1 match win.

In the loss, junior outside hitter Alyssa Hudak had one of her best performances on the season, recording a season-high 14 kills. Starr spoke about her effort in the match.

“With Emma Granger out in the past few games, she was trying to assume too much responsibility,” he said. “Moving her back to the right side was a big part of it. She is very versatile and has done a great job for us on the right side. It gives us a lot of options and she just continues to get better.”

Stats Leaders

Kills: Celia Powers, WSU, 15 / Alyssa Hudak, RMU, 14

Assists: Whitney Brown, RMU, 35 / Lainey Stephenson, WSU, 31

Digs: Jenna Story, WSU, 16 / Nikolette Zanolli, RMU, 15

Points: Celia Powers, WSU, 18.5 / Alyssa Hudak, RMU, 16

The Colonials will be right back in action tomorrow at 5 p.m. against the Raiders.