By RU Sports Information Saturday, September 15 2012 00:00
Despite falling in three sets, the Radford volleyball team gave Rutgers all it could handle on Friday evening as the Highlanders led late in each set before faltering down the stretch in the second match of the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Penn Invitational. Set scores were 22-25, 21-25 and 23-25.
Cheyanne James (Virginia Beach, Va. / Kellam) and Emily Carlin (Downingtown, Pa. / Bishop Shanahan) led the Radford attack with eight kills apiece, while Carlin chipped in 13 digs. Defensively, Katelyn Meeks (Richmond, Va. / Mills Godwin) contributed a season-high 22 digs to up her career total to 1,219, 81 shy of second place in the record books.
Christine Beckham (Ashburn, Va. / Stone Bridge) was the lead setter for the Highlanders with 16 helpers, while adding nine digs. Jena Braden (New Knoxville, Ohio / New Knoxville) crossed into double figures in assists with 14.
Sarah Schmid (15), Alex Lassa (11) and Alex Jones (10) each recorded double-digit kills for the Scarlet Knights (12-1). Lassa added 13 digs for a double-double. Ali Schroeter chipped in a match-high 23 digs, while Stephanie Zielinski poured out a double-double of 41 assists and 15 digs.
Radford (7-7) pounced on a 4-0 lead quickly in the first set, but Rutgers would battle until it took its first lead at 9-8. With the score 12-11 in favor of Rutgers, the BIG EAST squad went on a 5-1 run to extend its lead to five and force a Highlander timeout.
Out of the break in action, Radford rallied and got to within two of the Scarlet Knights. However, a Lassa kill would end the threat and give Rutgers the 1-0 lead in the match.
The second stanza was an intense one with neither team establishing a lead greater than two almost halfway through the set. With the score tied at 12, the Highlanders would win five of the next seven points to take a 17-14 edge.
The Scarlet Knights reclaimed the lead, however, at 21-20. The next point went to Rutgers as well, but Carlin ended the bleeding when she found the floor to draw back within one at 22-21. Kills by Lassa and Schmid, and an attack error from their opposition, gave the Scarlet Knights a 2-0 lead in the match heading into intermission.
The third frame started like the second as both squads found it difficult to establish separation. Three straight Rutgers errors and a Savanna Burton (Narrows, Va. / Narrows) kill generated a 12-8 lead for the Highlanders. Radford stretched that lead to 19-13, before the Scarlet Knights came storming back.
Schmid ignited an 8-1 run that allowed Rutgers to reclaim the lead, 21-20. With the set tied at 23, the Scarlet Knights put an end to the match via kills from Jones and Lassa.
The Highlanders wrap up the tournament today against host Penn at 11:00 a.m.
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