Colonials swept in Horizon League opener against Cleveland State

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Photo by Tyler Gallo

The Colonials have a conference during their loss to Cleveland State.

By Michael Deemer, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP– RMU volleyball (7-6, 0-1) faced off against the Cleveland State Vikings (3-9, 1-0) at the UPMC Events Center Friday evening for their first matchup in Horizon League play. After winning in three straight sets against George Washington, the Colonials looked to go for two in a row and start their conference season on the right foot.

The Vikings held the lead for the majority of the first set with the Colonials keeping it close. The Vikings sparked momentum, scoring a 6-1 run to make it 19-13. The Colonials had no quit though, scoring a 7-1 run to comeback and tie it 20. However, it was the Vikings who took the set 26-24.

The Vikings went on a tear in set two, at one point going on an 8-1 run, but unlike the first set, the Colonials did not mount a comeback losing the set 25-19. The set was also the last time the Colonials held a lead with a 9-8 advantage early in the second.

CSU dominated in the third set as they started with a 5-1 lead and never looked back. The Vikings continued to flourish and never trailed in the final frame.

Unforced errors crushed the Colonials and the team looked flustered throughout, especially in the final set. 22 attack errors were counted for the Colonials, while Cleveland State only had 11.

It was the duo of juniors, Chelsea Penfield and Peyton Bloomer of Cleveland State, that were the difference-makers in the contest. Penfield had 12 kills, a .500 hitting %, a game-high 6 blocks, 4 digs and a team-high 16 points. Bloomer had 14 kills, 3 blocks, and 15.5 points.

Graduate senior Emma Granger led in almost every category for the Colonials in the 3-set loss. She had 12 kills, a .556 hitting %, 5 blocks, 2 aces and 17.5 points, but it was freshman Ashleigh Wallin with an impressive Horizon League debut, tallying a team-high 22 assists.

Kills: Peyton Bloomer, CSU, 14 / Emma Granger, RMU, 12

ASSISTS: Abby Miller, CSU, 31 / Ashleigh Wallin, RMU, 22

Digs: Megan Cannon, RMU, 15 / Sarah DeGeorge, CSU, 10

Points: Granger, RMU, 17.5 / Chelsea Penfield, CSU, 16

The Colonials host Oakland tomorrow at the UPMC Events Center at 4 p.m. in hopes to get back on track and earn a split in the opening weekend of Horizon League play.