Rio Grande Sports Information
CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — For the first two sets of Friday night’s River States Conference women’s volleyball game, the University of Rio Grande played host to Ohio Christian University.
Then, just as quickly, the wheels fell off the wagon of the RedStorm.
The Trailblazers staged an unlikely rally to claim an 8-25, 11-25, 25-16, 25-22, 15-5 Senior Night victory over their East Division rivals at Maxwell Center.
Ohio Christian improved to 9-21 overall and 7-10 in conference with the victory, possibly salvaging its playoff hopes in the process.
Rio Grande fell to 16-12 overall and 9-7 in the RSC following the loss.
The RedStorm reached a completion percentage of 0.545 in the first set and 0.472 in the second set, committing only one attacking error in each stanza.
OCU kept the game alive by leading from start to finish in the third set, but it was a 7-0 run from the Trailblazers that fueled a 19-9 lead and the final set win.
Rio seemed to bounce back in the fourth stanza, holding a lead for much of the set, including a 19-18 cushion after a kill by junior Shalea Byrd.
However, the Trailblazers clinched each of the next three winners and led the rest of the way, with the last two points of the period going to Madison Blickenstaff.
The fifth – and decisive – set was entirely in favor of the home team.
OCU scored five of the first six points of the period, before an attacking error from Victoria Zelenka temporarily stopped the bleeding for the RedStorm.
But the Trailblazers responded by scoring seven of the next eight winners, essentially sealing the comeback victory.
Zelenka and Blickenstaff led the OCU with 16 and 13 eliminations respectively, while Alexa Cooper added 11 eliminations.
Rylee Barr had 52 assists in the winning effort, while Kaylee Garren had 16 digs and Josie Buck had four service aces.
Emily Holbrook also had three assists for the Trailblazers.
Junior Amanda Rarick (Canal Winchester, OH) had a record 23 kills in a losing cause for Rio Grande, while senior Jess Youse (Pettisville, OH) had 13 kills and Byrd finished with 10 kills , two solo blocks and four assists. .
Sophomore Avery Huntzinger (Canal Winchester, OH) had 47 assists and 13 digs for the RedStorm, junior Darcie Walters (Sparta, OH) totaling 28 digs and rookie Kayla Sedgwick (Richwood, OH) finishing with 13 digs.
Rio Grande wraps up its regular season schedule Saturday morning by hosting Indiana University-Southeast.
The first serve is set for 11 a.m. at Newt Oliver Arena.

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