Rio Grande, Ohio – Shawnee State volleyball earned a split on the first day of the Emileigh Cooper Memorial Tournament, hosted by Rio Grande. The Bears lost to Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) 3-1 but defeated the hosts Rio Grande 3-0.
SSU dropped the first match of the evening to Mount Vernon Nazarene, falling 3-1 to the Cougars. Mount Vernon Nazarene narrowly led most of the way through in the first two sets, using superior play at the nets to take a 2-0 match lead. The Cougars had eight blocks in the first two sets, keeping Shawnee State's attack off-balance.
Shawnee State would capture the third set 25-20 behind good defense. SSU had four blocks in the set, to go along with 18 digs, including a set-high seven from Stacia Martin (SR/Indianapolis, Indiana). Carson Roney (SO/Waverly, Ohio) was dominant in the third set, getting seven kills.
Shawnee State would hop out to an early set four lead but would collapse down the stretch to the disciplined Cougar attack, falling 25-14. Four kills apiece from Kelsey Bryte and Katelyn Dufur were enough to see of the Bears and end the match.
Carson Roney led the Bears' attack, racking up 15 kills and adding five blocks. Emily McKibben (FR/Williamsburg, Ohio) added 12 and Christina Shelton (SR/Blue Creek, Ohio) had 10. Deanna Smith (SR/Riverview, MI) had 38 assists, and Brianna Wiget (SR/Piketon, Ohio) lead the team with 16 digs.
Shawnee State would split the first day by defeating rivals Rio Grande 3-0. The Bears would lead the whole way in set one, winning 25-20 behind six kills from Christina Shelton.
The second set was a back-and-forth set, with Shawnee State ultimately rallying to win in extra points 27-25. Carson Roney was the leader in set number two, getting seven kills. Brianna Wiget would end the set with an ace to put SSU up 2-0.
Set three was all Shawnee State as the Bears would take an early lead and never look back, winning 25-14. A 6-0 run capped by a Roney kill gave SSU plenty of breathing room the Bears would exploit, winning the set and the match 3-0.
Roney again led the attack for Shawnee State, getting 17 kills with Shelton adding 11. Deanna Smith had 42 assists, and Wiget again led in digs with 10.
The split moves Shawnee State's record to 4-2 on the year. Mount Vernon Nazarene improved to 7-2 on the day, while Rio Grande fell to 1-6.
Shawnee State wrap up the Emileigh Cooper Memorial Tournament on Saturday when they play Point Park (Pa.) at 11:00am and Northwestern Ohio at 1:00pm.