Bearcats Roll To Victory In Volleyball Home Opener|
Sept. 3, 2010
CINCINNATI---Three players reached double figure kills as Cincinnati opened its 2010 Bearcats Invitational presented by Fifth Third Bank in style, sweeping Kent State on Friday night. Junior Missy Harpenau led all players with 15 kills, while Stephanie Niemer added 12 and Jordanne Scott 11 in the win. The victory, by scores of 25-20, 25-17, 25-22 improves UC's record to 4-1 on the young season and is the squad's 29th consecutive home court victory.
Harpenau narrowly missed her first double-double of the year, adding nine digs to match-best kill total. Libero Emily MacIntyre led UC with 12 digs on defense. Kent State (4-2) got 10 kills apiece from Meredith Paskert and Maigan Larsen, with the latter tacking on 13 digs.
The Bearcats never trailed in the first set, but struggled to a hitting clip of just .200. The opening frame was tight for the first 15 points with UC leading by just one at 8-7. The hosts would go on to score eight of the next 11 points to open their largest lead at 16-10. Kent State clawed back late in the going coming within two points at 21-19. Harpenau came up big down the stretch knocking down two of her first set-high five kills late in the going, including one on UC's first and only set point.
The second set was all Bearcats as Scott and Harpenau keyed the victory. Scott added six kills to her first set total of three, hitting .556 along the way. Harpenau tallied four kills on a perfect 1.000 hitting as the Bearcats led from start to finish. A kill by KSU's Paskert brought the visitors to within a single point at 9-8, but from there it was all Bearcats as the home team scored 16 of the final 25 points to go into the break with a two-set lead. Back-to-back kills by Scott pushed the Cincinnati advantage to 16-10 and prompted a Kent State timeout. The stoppage did little to stymie the Bearcat momentum as two more kills by Scott and a kill and an ace by Niemer helped UC close out set two.
Set number three presented UC's biggest challenge of the night, as the Bearcats trailed for the first time all night and couldn't shake a pesky Golden Flashes squad until the conclusion of the set. Cincinnati was forced into a timeout trailing 8-5, but came out of the stoppage with five straight points to take a two-point lead. UC was on the wrong side of a 14-13 count later but back-to-back kills by Harpenau and Niemer pushed UC into the lead to stay. Kent State battled back to salvage ties at 21 and 22 all, but the Bearcats closed the night out with two kills by Harpenau sandwiched around by one by Scott to seal it.
Action resumes at the Invitational with a full day of four matches on Saturday with play getting underway at 10 a.m. Kent State and Murray State will contest the first match of the day, with Cincinnati battling James Madison in the capper of the first session.
Murray State captured its first victory of the season, sweeping James Madison in the opening contest of the 2010 Bearcats Invitational presented by Fifth Third Bank. The Racers (1-4) were victorious by scores of 25-23, 25-19, 25-18 over the Dukes (3-1) who suffered their first setback of the year.
Ashley Nenninger led all players with 10 kills in the match for Murray State, while teammate Becca Lamb added nine on .360 hitting. Kelly Turner, sister of current Bearcat Megan Turner led James Madison with eight kills.
Murray State's defense was paced by Kayleah Sauer with 17 digs and Wendi Zickfield's five blocks. JMU got 12 digs from Holly Wall and four blocks from Lindsay Callahan.