Vikings Earn 3-1 Victory At NKU; Extend Winstreak To Nine Straight Matches

Vikings Earn 3-1 Victory At NKU; Extend Winstreak To Nine Straight Matches

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The Cleveland State volleyball team extended its winstreak to nine straight matches Wednesday evening, picking up a 3-1 victory over Northern Kentucky in a midweek Horizon League matchup. With the win, the Vikings improved to 19-7 overall this season and 12-3 in league play.

Cleveland State vs. Northern Kentucky Box Score

Match Stats
· The Viking offense was led by Sara Skeens and Rachel Stover – Skeens with 19 kills and Stover with 12.
· Emily DeGeorge chipped in nine kills, while Gina Kilner added eight and Alexis Middlebrooks posted seven.
· Five Vikings finished the match with double-digit digs, including Shannon Grega with a team-best 21.
· Jordan Verbiak added 16 digs, while Emily DeGeorge tallied 14, Gina Kilner posted 11, and Rachael Dohar added 10.
· Alexis Middlebrooks tallied six block assists on the night, while Emily DeGeorge added four and Trinniti Hall and Rachel Stover posted three.

Match Notes
· Cleveland State has now won nine straight matches and 10 of its last 11 contests.
· With the 3-1 victory at NKU Wednesday evening, the Vikings picked up the season sweep of the Norse.
· Gina Kilner tallied her ninth double-double of the season with 40 assists and 11 digs on the match.
· Shannon Grega eclipsed the 20-dig mark for the ninth time this season after posting 21 against the Norse.
· Sara Skeens tied her career-high with her 19 kills on the match.

The Match
The opening set was a tightly contested frame, with Cleveland State gaining an early advantage, but the Vikings were never able to earn a sizeable lead as Northern Kentucky worked its way back into the set every time the Vikings seemed to get on a roll. After holding just a one-point lead at the 17-16 mark, Cleveland State posted back-to-back points on an Emily DeGeorge kill and an NKU error, gaining a three-point lead that they would hold for the rest of the frame. To close out the set, the Vikings posted four straight points, including a Sara Skeens kill and a Trinniti Hall solo block.

The second set was much of the same, as Cleveland State was once again able to jump out in front of the Norse at the 16-12 mark, but a 7-2 run from Northern Kentucky kept the Norse in the set and tied the frame at 18-18. After calling a timeout, the Vikings were able to rattle off the next three points on a DeGeorge kill, Rachel Stover and Alexis Middlebrooks block and an NKU error, to regain a 21-18 advantage. The Vikings would then go on to hold this lead for the rest of the frame, gaining the 2-0 advantage on the match following a 25-20 set victory.

After dropping the third frame, the Vikings regrouped during the fourth set to pick up a 25-23 victory. Although Cleveland State trailed early on in the frame, the Vikings were able to go on a 3-0 run to turn their deficit into a 14-13 advantage following kills from DeGeorge and Skeens and a Norse error. After the teams then traded points over the next few plays, Cleveland State once again posted consecutive points forcing a Norse timeout and continued with a 4-0 run out of the break to extend its lead to 21-16. The Vikings then held off yet another NKU run, to close the frame with a Gina Kilner kill.

CSU Career Record Book
· With 21 digs against NKU, Shannon Grega moved into third place in the CSU Career Record Book, finishing the match with 1,422 career digs.
· Gina Kilner reached the 4,300-assist plateau against the Norse, finishing the match right on the number after posting 40 helpers on the night.

Up Next
· Cleveland State will close out the regular season at home on Friday (November 10), hosting Green Bay at 6:00 p.m. in a Senior Night contest.