The Shippensburg University volleyball team dropped a pair of contests on Friday at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC)/Mountain East Conference (MEC) Crossover, first conceding a sweep to Fairmont State before falling in four sets to host Wheeling.
Three Raiders ended the day with 15 or more kills. Freshman Gracen Nutt recorded a team high of 16 kills in addition to six digs, four blocks, and three aces. Junior Maddie Clabaugh had her third double-digit kill performance of the season with 11 against Wheeling to combine for 15 overall. She added seven digs and four blocks. Senior Kaitlyn Townsend also had 15 kills with a team-high nine blocks for the day.
Sophomore Kearstin Davis continued to lead SU in assists with a combined total of 69. She had a double-double against Wheeling with 42 assists and 10 digs. Freshman Shay Kolivoski was the leader in digs with 36 total; she matched her career high of 22 digs versus the Cardinals.
Fairmont State 3, Shippensburg 0 (20-25, 22-25, 15-25)
Shippensburg (6-4) was competitive in the first set, but costly errors prevented the team from taking a lead. Despite a 5-0 run from SU late in the frame, the Falcons took the set by five points.
The Raiders challenged Fairmont once again in the second set, taking an initial 7-1 lead, but a flurry of kills from the Falcons erased the deficit and turned the set in their favor. The third set saw SU hit 10 kills to Fairmont’s nine, but the opponent’s efficiency allowed them to take the frame 25-15.
The match high in kills went to Nutt with seven, while senior Jackie Sterenberg added six kills. Townsend led defensively and matched her season high of five blocks.
Wheeling 3, Shippensburg 1 (25-23, 19-25, 16-25, 19-25)
The Raiders were energetic to open their second match of the day. After exchanging leads through the beginning of the first set, SU went on a 6-0 run to build its biggest lead of the night at 19-11. Fending off a returning 8-0 run from the Cardinals, a final kill from Townsend secured the set for the Raiders.
In the second set, Shippensburg held on to tie Wheeling at 12-12, but three consecutive errors handed the Cardinals the lead they needed to win the frame. Wheeling carried its momentum over into the third set to quickly go up 18-15. The Raiders fought back with a run of seven straight points but could not overcome the early deficit. The fourth set saw a similar pattern as the Cardinals attacked early with a 13-3 lead. Although SU remained in striking distance and trailed 23-19, the effort was not enough to force a deciding set.
Clabaugh and Townsend led in kills with 11 and 10, respectively. Davis posted her second-highest assist output of the season with 42.
Shippensburg is on the road again tomorrow as they play host team West Liberty at 11 a.m. and Notre Dame (Ohio) at 3 p.m. on the second day of the PSAC/MEC Crossover.