Nov. 16, 2007
Contact: Greg Murphy
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Second-seeded Cleveland State earned a berth in the Horizon League Championship semifinal round for the fourth straight season with a 30-17, 33-31, 30-24 victory over seventh-seeded Youngstown State in quarterfinal action on Friday afternoon at the Klotsche Center.
The Vikings, who improved to 21-8 overall, will face third-seeded Wright State in the semifinals on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The Raiders defeated UIC, 3-0, in a quarterfinal match earlier on Friday.
"Overall, I am very happy with our effort today," head coach Chuck Voss said. "We came out with a lot of intensity and really had some good swings in the early going. I thought we played well offensively and defensively and we received contributions from everybody tonight."
CSU was near perfect in game one as the Vikings raced out to a 10-3 lead to force an early Penguin timeout. YSU never threatened from there as the Vikings pushed their advantage to as many as 14 points (25-11) on a Mel Snyder kill
The Vikings hit .613 at the net with 20 kills and just one error in 31 attempts in the opener. Jenni Ramminger led the way with five kills in six attempts, while Beth Greulich added four kills in five swings and Liz Fazio tallied four kills in six attempts.
Game two was much tighter as there were 17 ties and four lead changes. Neither team claimed a lead of three or more until a Maggie Bonomini service ace gave the Vikings a 21-18 advantage. CSU extended the lead to 22-18 on a YSU attack error, but the Penguins rallied with a 6-2 run to knot the game at 24-24 and turn the it into a wild ending.
CSU appeared to have the game in hand as a YSU attack error and Snyder's service ace gave the Vikings a 29-26 lead, but the Penguins managed four straight points to take a 30-29 lead. The teams traded points from there and with the game knotted at 31-31, CSU received a kill from Greulich and a block assist by Alexis Korovich and Ramminger to take a 2-0 lead.
"We were able to do a good job and maintain our composure after we lost the lead," Voss said. "Getting that win and going up 2-0 was a big emotional boost for us."
Riding the momentum of that win, CSU tallied the first three points of game three and never trailed to earn the sweep as the Penguins never sliced the lead under two, the final time coming at 18-16. However, the Vikings went on an 8-2 run to take a 26-18 lead and put the game out of reach.
Greulich led the Vikings with 12 kills, while Korovich added 11 kills and 12 digs. Ramminger and Amy Benz also reached double-digit kills with 10 apiece, while Mel Snyder dished out 45 assists and Jordan Bateman finished with 13 digs.
YSU (13-17) received a match-best 16 kills and eight digs from Jessica Fraley, while Ebony Barbosa finished with 10 kills and eight digs. Karla Everhart handed out 31 assists in a losing effort.