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Rio volleyball wins seventh straight

October 28, 2010
By Mark Williams of University of Rio Grande



Rio Grande --- The University of Rio Grande RedStorm volleyball team increased their winning streak to seven in a row with a three-set victory over visiting WVU Tech on Thursday night at the Newt Oliver Arena.  Rio won by scores of 25-20, 25-19 and 25-14. 


Rio Grande (19-11, 8-3 MSC E) was not on top of its game, but was able to do what was needed to get the victory. 


Sophomore middle hitter Erin Sherman (South Webster, OH) led the way for Rio Grande with nine kills, three solo blocks and three block assists.  Sophomore outside hitter Whitney Smith (Albany, OH) added eight kills while sophomore outside hitter Erin Moore (South Webster, OH) produced seven kills and junior middle hitter Kati Moore (Lancaster, OH) chipped in with six.


Smith and sophomore libero Lauren Raines (Albany, OH) each totaled 22 digs to lead the defense.  Freshman setter Kayla Landaker (Coshocton, OH) distributed 18 assists to lead Rio in that department while senior setter Ashley Bloom (Worthington, OH) dished out 14 assists.   Landaker also delivered three aces. 


WVU Tech (3-23, 0-13 MSC E) proved to be a difficult opponent for the evening as it held leads in each of the first two sets, but did not have enough firepower to get past the RedStorm.


"I do want to say this right off the bat, I don't think we played well, but I'm not going to take anything away from Tech because that coach (Jennifer Belarmino), hats off to her," Rio Grande head coach Billina Donaldson said.  "What's she's done in less than one season with that team is remarkable."


"I do want to give credit where credit is due because we're that team that never gets credit, we always beat somebody because they didn't play well and I want to give credit to that team right off the bat," Donaldson added.  "We're glad that that one is out of the way."


Brandy Deddo led the Golden Bears with 12 kills.  Ali Holmes paced the defensive effort for WVU Tech with 12 digs while Jessica Shelter had four blocks and McKinley Kennedy handed out 21 assists.


Rio takes the season series versus WVU Tech and now owns an 8-1 record in the all-time series. 


The match was dubbed "Dig Pink" as a part of the Side-Out Foundation's Dig Pink National Breast Cancer Awareness Rally.   All of the admission costs from the match will be going to the foundation.  An emotional pre-game ceremony celebrated those who are breast cancer survivors and also served as a memorial for some who have fallen victim to the dreaded disease.  Sara Snyder, mother of former Rio Grande basketball player Lyndell Snyder and mother-in-law to former Rio Grande volleyball player Kellina Cooper-Snyder, gave a speech that chronicled her battle with and survival of breast cancer.   Mrs. Snyder has a foundation entitled "Sara's Survivor's Relay for Life." 


Anyone interested in donating to the Side-Out Foundation can do so online at http://www.side-out.org/application/teams/team/3558.



Rio Grande will head to Portsmouth on Saturday for a tri-match with Shawnee State and former American Mideast Conference foe Mount Vernon Nazarene.  Rio lost to Shawnee State at home earlier this season in four games.   The RedStorm have yet to face the Cougars in 2010. 


The SSU match is scheduled for 10 a.m. and the Mount Vernon contest is set for 12 p.m. 





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