STEUBENVILLE – In the AMCC Game of the Week, the Franciscan volleyball battled a tough La Roche team but was unable to overcome late set runs as the Red Hawks swept the Lady Barons, 3-0, Tuesday evening.
The Red Hawks improved to 10-15 on the year and 5-1 in the AMCC behind set scores of 28-26, 25-22 and 25-15, while the Lady Barons fell to 5-14 for the season and 4-2 in the conference.
The two teams battled back and forth to open the first set before Franciscan rattled off six-straight points to take a 12-7 lead, punctuated by an impressive kill from freshman Meghan Bayer and a pair of kills from freshman Anna Telepak. The Red Hawks' head coach called a timeout and La Roche used four-straight points to cut the Lady Baron lead to 12-11 but Franciscan maintained momentum and eventually led 20-15. After a 4-0 run for La Roche pulled the Red Hawks to within one, 20-19. After a Lady Baron side out followed by two points from La Roche, the first set was tied 22-22. Bayer gave the Lady Barons a 23-22 lead with another kill but the Red Hawks answered in kind to keep the game tied. Juniors Maria Ciola and Laura Nath traded kills to make it 24-24. A kill by senior Monica Rigaud handed Franciscan its second set-point of the opening game but La Roche didn't back down and scored two-straight points to earn the Red Hawks first set-point. Ciola tied it at 26-26 with a kill but La Roche scored the sets final two points to take a 1-0 lead in the match in dramatic fashion.
The second set began just as the first did, with the two teams engaged in a close back and forth battle, each team not letting the other gain a substantial lead. Franciscan eventually pulled away with a 20-16 lead behind an unforced La Roche error and a pair of blocks from Bayer and Telepak. Franciscan maintained its lead, seemingly having answers for all of La Roche's points until a Red Hawk attack error gave Franciscan it's last point at 22-19 for the Lady Barons. La Roche used a six-point run to close out the set 25-22 and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Red Hawks used the momentum from scoring the final six points of the previous set to take a 7-3 lead in the third set. Franciscan didn't give up, however, and cut the lead down to 9-7 behind a 4-2 run, thanks to kills from Telepak, Ciola and Bayer. La Roche kept the Lady Barons at bay as the Red Hawks used a 7-4 run to take a 16-12 lead and after Franciscan scored three-straight points to get within one, 16-15, the Red Hawks closed out the match with nine-straight points to win 25-15.
Ciola led all players with 17 kills while Rigaud and Bayer each had seven. Sophomore Maddie Demos finished the day with 17 digs and freshman setting Sydney Riley continues to put up impressive numbers with 28 assists and 11 digs.
Franciscan looks to rebound from the tough loss as the Lady Barons travel to Penn St.-Behrend on Saturday for a 1:00 pm AMCC match.