Granger’s big day leads Colonials over Dukes

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Photo by Tyler Gallo

The team celebrates their big win over Duquesne.

By Colby Sherwin, Assistant Multi-Media Editor

MOON TOWNSHIP– After dropping their first two matches in the Chick-Fil-A Robinson Labor Day Classic against Liberty and Idaho, the Colonials were looking to pick up one win to end the weekend against local rival Duquesne who was 1-1 heading into today’s matchup.

In perhaps an instant classic of a matchup, RMU (4-2) knocked off Duquesne (1-8) after a fiercely battled and emotional five sets. Head coach Dale Starr remarked on the team’s ability to bounce back after two tough losses.

“I think it was our energy, our ability to make a mistake and move on. Yesterday we were dwelling on mistakes and it led to a big run of points.”

After the first set, the Colonials took it 25-14. RMU looked to be on a slow start but Emma Granger would not let the team fall, leading the way with four kills. Morgan Kelly added two for the Dukes. After a back and forth start, RMU went on a run to shut the door, running away with it by the final point and winning by 11.

The Dukes would not go down without a fight. They took the second set 25-22. Morgan Kelly continued her strong day with six kills. Emma Granger added three for RMU. Most of the set was tied as both teams worked together and fought hard with the Dukes ultimately coming out on top.

Duquesne once again battled closely with RMU in the third set and the Dukes slipped away with a very close win after both sides fought hard, forcing extra points and a close 26-24 Duquesne win. Anita Parrott played well as she notched the set-winning kill.

Set four was like the other three, quite close. After the Dukes started fast, the Colonials clawed their way back and pulled off the win led by Emma Granger, who had 15 kills at that point. The Dukes were looking to finish the tournament 2-1, but a late Colonial run had them cough up the fourth set 25-17.

In the final set of the day, the Colonials and Dukes once again went back and forth as it went down the stretch. A late surge of points for Robert Morris and some timely overturned reviews led to them being in the position to win, and on the last play of the game, Ashleigh Wallin flustered Summer Slade on the other side who knocked the ball out and sealed a 15-12 Colonial victory, their first of the tournament.

In an emotional game against a rival, fans can be a huge part of a win. Today’s game featured RMU’s biggest crowd of the year, and Coach Starr mentioned how big of a part the fans played in the win.

“The kids love having fans here. It’s big for all of us. It makes things normal.”

STAT LEADERS

Kills: Morgan Kelly, DUQ, 17 / Emma Granger, RMU, 16

Assists: Hailey Poling, DUQ, 48 / Ashleigh Wallin, RMU, 29

Digs: Allena Carmody, RMU, 24 / Summer Slade, DUQ, 17

Points: Granger, RMU, 20 / Kelly, DUQ, 17.5

RMU is back in action on Sept. 10 as they take part in the George Mason Invitational and take on Coppin State.