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Raiders Sweep Penguins, Cling on to First Place in HL

Volleyball | Photo by Adam Campbell | The Wright State Guardian

The Wright State University women’s volleyball team returned to McLin Gymnasium on Tuesday night to wrap up a three-game homestand, sweeping the Youngstown State Penguins in three sets. 

The Raiders entered Tuesday night having won two of their last three matches, seeking to keep an edge over Milwaukee. 

The Raiders had previously swept the Penguins in September and had won 10 of its last 11 matches against YSU. WSU came into Tuesday holding the all-time series record 42-12. 

“Credit to [Youngstown State], they passed really well in the match,” Jenny Morey stated after the win. “I was getting frustrated because I was struggling to get them out of system.”

Tight finish in the first set

The beginning of the match started back and forth for both sides. The Raiders later went on two separate runs to move its lead to 16-9. YSU refused to back down and went on a five-point run to even the score at 25-25. WSU would respond by securing the final two kills from Megan Alders and Aaliyah Byers to close out the first set. 

Full control in the second

After both teams exchanged the first few points, the Raiders went on a 7-0 run to go up 11-5. WSU found more success in its serves and overall offensive play. The Lady Raiders closed the second set by scoring seven of the final eight points to secure a 25-16 set victory. 

“We talked about serving more aggressively so we are able to get them out of system more,” WSU’s Sam Ott mentioned. “We were able to win that serve and pass even better in that set while limiting their runs and extending ours.”

A sweep of the Penguins

Wright State opened the third and final frame on a 3-0 run before taking a 13-6 lead. The Penguins responded by making another comeback and tying the set at 14-14. Wright State scored six of eight points with the help of Byers, who scored three consecutive points. 

“I just feel like that is when the team needs me most,” Byers said on stepping up when other teammates are being contained. 

With WSU leading 23-19, YSU pulled back within one before the Raiders closed out the match with two final kills. 

Byers led WSU in kills with 13 on the match, followed by Ott with 12 kills on 21 attempts and Reilly Zegunis with 10 kills on 18 tries. Katie Meyer spread the offense very efficiently, dishing out 44 assists on the evening. 

“Katie was doing a great job spreading our offense,” Ott mentioned. “I think most of my kills were on one-on-one attempts, so I think Katie and our defense were amazing.”

Clinging on to first place

With the win, WSU moves on to 12-9 overall and 8-2 in conference play. The Raiders hold a narrow lead over Milwaukee and control their own destiny. 

“We just have to give all we got,” Byers added. “We were lucky to have [Milwaukee] lose two games so we can host; hopefully we just win out.” 

The Lady Raiders will travel to Highland Heights on Saturday to take on their arch-rival, NKU, whom WSU previously defeated in four sets. Saturday’s matchup will begin at 4 p.m.

Adam Campbell

Sports Reporter

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