Portsmouth, Ohio – Shawnee State volleyball hosted Senior Night on Thursday, getting an emotional win over local rivals Rio Grande 3-2 (25-21, 25-27, 25-22, 15-25, 15-13).
The first set went exactly to plan as Shawnee State led the whole way. The Bears would also get off to a hot start in the second set, leading 18-14 late. Rio Grande would then make a 7-0 run to make the score 21-18, and would secure a 27-25 set two victory despite a Shawnee State rally.
The third set would see the Bears down 14-8, but a rally led by Lauren Helbig (SR/Mansfield, Ohio) would help the Bears take the lead and hold on down the stretch to win 25-22. Rio Grande would dominate the fourth set and win 25-15 to force a decisive fifth set.
The Bears would lead 8-6 at the switch, but Rio Grande would score three straight points to take a 9-8 lead. Despite the setback, Shawnee State would roar back multiple times, including down 13-11 to tie the game and ultimately win the match.
The night was all about Lauren Helbig as the senior collected 23 kills and hit .475 on the evening. Brianna Wiget (JR/Piketon, Ohio) added 13 kills and Miranda Clark (SR/Chillicothe, Ohio) had 10. Deanna Smith (JR/Riverview, MI) had 40 assists, with Bonnie Huesing (SR/Mason, Ohio) adding 12. Rhyanna Day (SR/Beaver, Ohio), who broke through with her 1,000th dig on Saturday, collected 23 digs to lead SSU in that category.
Rio Grande had six players with double digit kills. Autumn Snider and Aleah Pelphrey each had 14, Patricia Dennis had 12, Marley Hanzel had 11, and Kayla Briley and Rachael Gilkey each had 10.
With the win, the Bears improve to 5-22 on the season. Rio Grande falls to 17-11, and had an eight match winning streak snapped.
Shawnee State are next in action on Tuesday, October 25th when they host #8 Georgetown in their final home match of 2016. Game time is set for 7:00pm.