Bearcats Fall in Two Matches at Spartan Invitational|
Sept. 21, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The University of Cincinnati volleyball team lost two 3-0 matches against Eastern Michigan University and No. 14 Michigan State University to close out the Auto Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational hosted by MSU in East Lansing, Mich. The Bearcats lost to the EMU Eagles by scores of 25-20, 25-19 and 25-18 in the morning and were defeated by the host Spartans 25-11, 25-14, 25-19 to finish the day.
In the first match vs. the Eagles, the Bearcats were led by freshman Breanna Barksdale (Chula Vista, Calif./Eastlake) who tied a career high with six kills while hitting at a .357 clip, a team-high for players with at least 10 total attacks. Barksdale and company were set up by freshman Kristin Conor (Lone Tree, Colo./Highlands Ranch) who dished out 15 assists.
Defensively, Cincinnati was paced by freshman Shelby Green (Dripping Springs, Texas/Dripping Springs) who had a match-high and career-high 16 digs while sophomore Morgan Allred (Carrolton, Texas/Hebron) stuffed a match-high five blocks.
The Bearcats stuck close to the Eagles through each set, but ultimately could not pull out a victory. In the first game, Cincinnati tied the score at 8-8 following back-to-back kills by sophomore Amelia Wegman (Aurora, Ill./Rosary) and later climbed to within 18-16 after kills by Barksdale and Allred. EMU closed out the set by scoring five of the last seven points to take the victory 25-20.
The story was similar in games two and three with the Bearcats losing 25-19 and 25-18, respectively.
In its second match of the day, UC dropped a 3-0 decision to No. 14 Michigan State 25-11, 25-14, 25-19. The Bearcats were led by freshman Mallory Blauser (Round Rock, Texas/Round Rock Christian Academy) with nine kills, junior Madi Lang (Commerce Township, Mich./Florida Atlantic) with eight assists and junior Jamie Netisingha (Westmont, Ill./Hinsdale Central) with seven digs.
The No. 14 Spartans of Michigan State represent the third ranked opponent of the season for Cincinnati. The Bearcats had previously lost to No. 24 North Carolina and No. 21 Western Kentucky.
Cincinnati now will shift its focus to conference play where it will begin with a clean slate. The Bearcats will host new American Athletic Conference foe Temple at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27 at Fifth Third Arena.
The match against the Owls will mark the first for the Bearcats in its new conference. Cincinnati is joined in the American by Temple, UCF, Memphis, SMU, Houston, Connecticut, USF, Rutgers and Louisville. There will be no American Conference tournament therefore the regular season champions will represent the conference in the NCAA Championship.