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Nov. 17, 2014

CSU volleyball closes out season strong with road wins

By Dan Levindofske

The Cleveland State University women’s volleyball team hosted its final homestand on the weekend of Nov.1, with matches against Valparaiso and UIC.

The team first hosted Valparaiso in Woodling Gymnasium on Friday Oct. 31, falling to the Crusaders 3-0, with set score of 25-13, 25-9 and 25-18.

Grace Kauth, a sophomore OH, led the Vikings with seven kills, while also adding six digs. Dayna Roberts, a junior S, had 11 assists and 10 digs, her ninth double-double of the season.

Head coach Chuck Voss acknowledged that his team did not play up to its ability.

“Against Valparaiso we played poorly, it was probably our worst performance of the year,” Voss said. “We had a good meeting after that match and came out the next day and I thought we played well on senior day.”

The Vikings faced UIC the following day, which they lost in a five-set match, in what was the last home match of the season. The set scores were 25-23, 23-25, 20-25, 25-14 and 15-12.

“I think we played well against UIC,” Voss said. “We had opportunities, we just didn’t make plays at times to win the match.”

Kauth posted a career-high 20 kills, while senior Maggie Hannon and junior Christina Toth added 14 kills each. They were helped out by the assists from Roberts and freshman Gina Kilner, who had 27 and 22, respectively.

Not only was it the last home game of the regular season, but it was also senior night. The two seniors on the team - OH Ally Beck and MH Maggie Hannon - were honored before the game.

Next the team traveled to Wisconsin to take on Green Bay and Milwaukee on its last road trip of the regular season.

The Vikings came out with a 3-1 victory against Green Bay with set scores of 25-17, 25-20, 21-25 and 25-23. Kauth, Hannon and Toth led the way with 40 of the teams 61 kills while freshman DS Shannon Grega had a career-high 22 digs on defense.

The team closed out the weekend road trip with a 3-1 win against Milwaukee, which was sitting atop the Horizon League going into the match. The set scores were 25-20, 18-25, 25-22 and 25-22. Kilner posted a line of 44 assists, seven digs, four kills and two blocks.

Voss said the team made enough plays to win the match against a young Green Bay squad and that same went for the Milwaukee match. Voss said it all comes down to making timely plays.

“There are a lot of tight games, but we just made the plays when it counted,” Voss said. “Ultimately, if you can make plays when it’s close you’re going to win matches.”

The team finished the regular season with a 13-13 record, with a 6-7 record in conference play.

“Overall regular season, obviously we were hoping to do better. We don’t like the position that we’re in,” Voss said. “We’ve lost some really tight five game matches and we’ve had a couple things that - as far as playing with confidence - we just kind of lost that mojo.”

The lady Vikes are looking to get their mojo back in the Horizon League Tournament, which Voss believes is up for grabs.

“I think all six teams in there all have a chance,” Voss said. “If you look at who has beaten who in our conference you’ll see that it doesn’t really matter if you’re at home or on the road - whoever shows up and makes plays when it’s close - they’re the team that’s winning.”

The Horizon League Tournament quarterfinals begin on Friday, Nov. 21.