Raiders’ fast start slowed by Vikings
The Wright State volleyball squad got off to a tremendous start in its match versus the defending conference champion Cleveland State Vikings Friday evening, however the Vikings rallied to defeat the Raiders 3-1.
WSU won the first set of the match but CSU rallied to win the final three sets.
“They have that ability to come back,” WSU head coach Susan Clements said about CSU. “We just have to be ready for that for those moments when we take a set and teams raise their level of play. That is going to come with more experience.”
Nine players saw playing time for the Raiders; only two of which were upperclassmen. Clements said her young squad will have to learn how to close out matches.
“We have a lot of youth out there,” Clements said. “We had good moments but just lost a lot of points due to errors. We have to clean that part up.”
WSU has lost six matches in a row. Going into Friday’s match, the Raiders were swept in all five of its matches.
The Raiders dropped to 6-14 on the season and 0-3 in Horizon League play. WSU continue its four-game home stand Saturday afternoon versus Youngstown State.
“I have a ton of confidence in this team and what this team can do,” outside hitter Heidi Splinter said. Splinter had 11 kills for the match.
The Raiders got out to a 7-0 start to the first set which prompted CSU head coach Chuck Voss to call a timeout. The Vikings rallied to go on a 7-0 run.
Later in the first set, WSU staved off a CSU set point as Stephanie Ruffing notched a kill. A CSU attack error and a kill by Ashley Langjahr sealed WSU’s first set win in six matches.
CSU easily dispatched the Raiders in the next two sets winning by a 25-19 margin in the second set and 25-15 in the third.
WSU tried to force a fifth and deciding set in the fourth. The Raiders tried to rally from down 21-17 in the third but the Vikings were able to ice the set and the match.
Langjahr credited CSU’s defense for shutting out the Raiders in the final three sets.
“They do a really good job at switching up their hitters to keep us on our toes,” Langjahr said. Langjahr had a team best 12 kills to go with only four errors.
During pregame warm ups, the squad wore special t-shirts to raise awareness and money for blood cancer. Between the team’s participation in a walk Thursday evening and the sale of the t-shirts, the team raised over $1,500 for the cause.