The volleyball team traveled to SUNY Canton in Canton, NY to compete in the 2015 USCAA Volleyball National Championship. The team competed in two matches as part of pool play on Thursday, the first day of the tournament, with each match being best of three instead of the usual best of five.
In their first match up of the day, the #6 seeded Mountaineers took on the #10 seed NHTI and swept the match 2-0. Berea took the first set in dominant fashion, using a 19-4 lead to eventually take the first set 25-7. The second set of the match saw a closer result, as NHTI began the match with a 9-6 lead. The set remained close as each team exchanged points back and forth before the score became tied at 14. The Mountaineers used a rally to pull away and win a closely contest set, winning by four points 25-21, to take the match and begin their day 1-0.
Senior Kyra Robinson, who was named USCAA First Team All-American and USCAA All-American Honorable Mention Simone Brown, a junior, led the attack for Berea with four kills each. The Blue Crew were led in assists by sophomore Claire Mueller with six. Two players, senior Nicole Baker and junior Destiney Balser, tied for the team lead in digs with five each. Robinson also led the team in blocks, with two solo and one assist.
The Mountaineers returned to the court later in the afternoon to take on the #2 seed and host school SUNY Canton. The results for this match would not be as positive as the team lost the match 2-0. In the first set, SUNY Canton turned a 12-8 lead into a 20-13 advantage. Berea fought back but was unable to make up the difference and lost the first set 25-22. The Blue Crew came out in the second set and kept the match close but could not overturn an 18-14 deficit deep into the set and fell in the final set of the match 25-21.
Robinson led the Mountaineers in kills again with four in this match. She also led the team in blocks for the second straight match with a total of six, two solo and four assists. Senior Megan Keller was the team leader in assists with six, while Balser led the team again in digs with six.
Berea will return to the court tomorrow as they continue pool play at 10:00 AM when they take on #3 seeded Rochester College. Their fourth match of pool play will take place at 1:00 PM against an opponent they faced earlier in the season, the #7 seed Carlow University to determine if the team advances to the elimination round of the tournament. Follow all the action live at http://volleyball.theuscaa.com/live