Bearcats Keep Home Streak Alive with Five Set Thriller Over Toppers|
Oct. 18, 2011
CINCINNATI –The University of Cincinnati volleyball team kept the audience on the edge of their seats at Fifth Third Arena Tuesday evening, but Bearcat fans can breathe easy as the longest home winning streak in the nation is still alive with 43 wins. The team beat the Lady Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky 3-2 (25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 13-25, 16-14).
The Bearcats took advantage of 23 missed serves from Western Kentucky and executed 57 kills to win the match.
The match was led by Bearcat junior Jordanne Scott (Indianapolis, Ind. /Lawrence North) who recorded 18 kills and a .455 hitting percentage. She also had 8 digs in the win.
Two other Bearcats recorded double-digit kills. Senior Missy Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mother of Mercy) had 11 and junior Emily Hayden (Louisville, Ky. /Assumption) had 10. Harpenau recorded another double-double with 12 kills.
Sophomore libero Emily Macintyre (Muncie, Ind. /Yorktown) had an impressive effort in the back court with 27 digs, leading all players. Freshman Caylin Mahoney (Fort Worth, Texas/Keller Central) led the match with 47 assists on the night.
On the other side of the net, Jordyn Skinner led the Toppers with 15 kills, while Tiffany Elmore recorded 14 kills with a .433 hitting percentage.
Harpenau started the fifth and deciding set with an ace for a Bearcat lead 3-1. Hayden then put up a one-handed block to allow Scott to put down a kill 5-2. Mahoney then put down a kill of her own immediately after the Topper setter Melanie Stutsman attempted one to increase the lead 6-2. Impressive defense and hustle from junior Megan Turner (Ontario, N.Y./Wayne Central), Harpenau, Scott and MacIntyre led to a Turner kill for a lead at 8-5. The Hilltoppers then used a 5-2 run to pull ahead 10-8. Refenes and Harpenau then teamed up for a block for a boost of energy and a Bearcat lead 12-11. After an extremely questionable call at the end, Scott ended all confusion with a kill. The match finally ended a combination of Turner and Hayden block 16-14.
The fourth set started with a quick 15-6 Topper lead with several blocks. WKU capitalized on Bearcat errors and continued to roll for a score of 19-8. Scott and Refenes ended their run with a kill each and an ace from Becca Refenes (Westland, Mich./Lutheran Westland), but the Bearcats still had to fight 21-11. Yet another WKU block ended the fourth set in a dominant fashion 25-13.
Defensive efforts from Refenes, Harpenau and MacIntyre led to a 5-4 lead for the Bearcats in the third set. Harpenau then used her serve to go on a 6-1 run for a score of 11-6. Mahoney then had a one-handed save out of the net to set up Scott, who put the kill down to keep the Bearcats ahead 14-9. Scott then put down three kills to increase the lead 20-15. Hayden then put down a kill of her own for a score of 22-19. The set ended just like the first with another Hayden kill to bring the Bearcats one set closer to the match win 25-21.
The teams battled closer to start the second set for a score of 7-7. WKU then got the lead with a block and several Bearcat errors 15-12. Even defensive efforts from Harpenau and a kill from Scott could not put the Bearcats ahead as the Toppers stayed on top 19-14. Refenes then came up with a clutch solo block in the middle and a kill behind Mahoney to bring the Bearcats closer 20-18. A kill from Western Kentucky put them one step closer to the set win 24-22. The Bearcats ultimately fell to the Toppers 25-22 in the second set.
Both teams were doing well offensively. Western Kentucky hit .365 and Cincinnati posted a .304 mark. The Bearcats took an early 10-5 lead in the first set thanks to two kills and a solo block from Harpenau. The team would stay ahead, but the Toppers fought back with kills from Skinner to decrease the deficit 17-13 with kills from Hayden and Turner. Refenes continued the lead with a kill 18-13. Scott threw down two tips to bring the set win closer to the Bearcats 23-18. The Toppers would not let the Bearcats take the set easily as they used an ace from Kacy Moran to push the score to 24-21. The set ended in favor of the Bearcats with a kill from Hayden.
The Bearcats continue their home stand Saturday, October 22 against Pittsburgh and Sunday, October 23 against West Virginia. Both matches will begin at 2:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Arena. The team will be signing autographs after each home match this season.
Fans can follow each match on Twitter @cincinnativball and gametracker through gobearcats.com.