The Shippensburg University volleyball team finished the Tony Banner Memorial Volleyball Tournament on a high note after sweeping Lake Erie in straight sets on Saturday afternoon. Set scores were 25-17, 25-16, and 26-24.
Sophomore Kearstin Davis (San Antonio, Tex./Reagan) had a hallmark night for Shippensburg (2-2) as her 23 assists put her over the 1,000 career assists mark. She also served a career high of seven aces and added five digs.
Offensively, the Raiders were led by juniors Maddie Clabaugh (Gettysburg, Pa./Delone Catholic) and Emily Gardner (Avon, Ohio/Avon) who combined for 18 kills. Clabaugh had nine kills and a .438 hitting percentage, while Gardner contributed the other nine kills.
At the close of the weekend, Davis and Clabaugh were named to the All-Tournament team.
Lake Erie (0-4) had an advantage at the net with 10 blocks to SU’s four, but 10 service aces from the Raiders led to a secure sweep of the Storm.
Shippensburg opened the first set with a strong push to take an early 9-2 lead. From there, the Raiders kept their lead safe and never allowed the Storm to come back within three points. The final point was secured by senior Kaitlyn Townsend (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) who joined a company of four other Raiders that also recorded multiple kills within the set.
The Raiders were challenged by the Storm at the beginning of the first set as both sides exchanged points before knotting up at 7-7. But a following 8-1 run from SU, that contained two service aces from Davis, resulted in a 7-point advantage that would hold through the rest of the set.
In the third set, Shippensburg found itself in a difficult spot despite its initial 14-8 lead. Several attack and service errors gave Lake Erie the space to go on a 10-1 run and create one of their only leads of the night. Down 23-21, the Raiders recaptured their momentum thanks to a kill from Gardner and a final service ace from Davis; sophomore Isabelle Bombas (Hatboro, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) had the honor of smashing the final kill to win the match.
SU returns this Thursday at 7 p.m. when they travel to North Carolina to face host team Chowan at the Chowan Tournament.