Murray State Spikers Earn Win Over The Citadel
Radford, Va. – Outside hitter Ise d'Angelo finished with a team-high eight kills and the combination of Amanda Rudnik and Jessica Maxwell added seven kills apiece, however it was Murray State that emerged with a 25-19, 25-19, 25-16 win over The Citadel at the Radford University Tournament.
While The Citadel's offensive struggle continued, the team got a lift from Emily Dalton on the defensive end, as she finished with 15 digs. Teammate Lauren Hurt was also instrumental on the defense with a pair of assisted blocks. Meanwhile, freshman Mikaela Tracy dished out 21 assists from the setter position for a Bulldog unit whose record slipped to 0-4 overall.
Murray State (1-3) countered with the combination of Kristin Besselsen (16 kills) and Wendi Zickfield (13 kills), who provided a 47-31 edge on the front row. Katlyn Hudson anchored the back row with 13 digs, while Taylor OIden chipped in eight digs and three assisted blocks. The tandem of Lia Havili (22 assists) and Sam Bedard (13 assists) sparked a Racers offense that capped off the match with a .277 attack percentage.
Maxwell's three points keyed a Citadel surge early in the first set as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 6-2 lead. Murray State quickly rallied and knotted the game at 6-6 behind Zickfield in serve. After a d'Angelo kill and a series of MSU attack errors pushed the Dogs lead back to three, the Racers answered with six straight points to take a 13-9 advantage. The teams exchanged jabs until Havili's service game extended the lead to six points, 19-13, keyed by a pair of Bulldog attack errors. Maxwell again proved integral to the Bulldogs offense, this time by forcing an attack error in serve, as the score was trimmed to 19-16. However, Murray State closed the match with a 6-3 push to complete the 25-19 victory.
Murray State set the tone early in the second set as it streaked out to a 7-4 advantage behind a pair of kills from Besselen. Maxwell sent two of the next three points past the Racers defense, pulling the score within a pair, only to see Emily Schmahl's service game establish a 12-6 lead. Trailing 18-12 at the midpoint of the match, d'Angelo stepped in to force a series of MSU attack errors, slicing the deficit to three. Murray State responded with three kills from Besselsen and two by Zickfield to earn the 25-19 win.
The Citadel showed resolve in the third set with a four-point rally due in large part to Dalton's service game. With Dalton in serve, a series of kills by d'Angelo and Maxwell knotted the game 8-8. Murray State retaliated with an 8-4 run of its own, keyed by three kills from Zickfield, assuming the 16-12 advantage. Kills by the tandem of Farrell and Rudnik kept the Dogs within striking distance, 19-14, but it was the combination of three Racer kills, two unforced Citadel errors and an MSU service ace that made for the 25-16 victory.
The Bulldogs complete their three-match weekend on Saturday with a pair of contests against Radford (10:30 a.m.) and St. Francis (Pa.) (5 p.m.).
For more information on Bulldog Volleyball, go to the official website of The Citadel Athletics, www.CitadelSports.com.