PORTSMOUTH, OHIO – The Shawnee State University volleyball team hit .485 as a team and obtained 19 kills combined from Lauren Helbig and Ashley Galbrath – with the pair committing just a single attack error – en route to a dominating 3-0 (25-16, 25-6, 25-10) victory over Pikeville in a Mid-South Conference matchup at Frank and Janis Waller Gymnasium on Monday evening in the volleyball program’s last home bout of the season.
SSU (15-13, 4-10 Mid-South), who had seven players record attack percentages of .250 or better, dominated in every facet of the contest as in addition to the 39 kills, Shawnee State racked up 37 digs and 34 assists, compared to UPike’s (14-21, 0-16 Mid-South) 20 assists and 17 digs.
In addition to those totals, SSU racked up at least a .419 attack percentage or better in all three sets, while not committing a single error in the second set and racking up a .600 attack percentage in the third set. Meanwhile, UPike was held to a .179 attack percentage or lower in all three sets as Pikeville finished with a -0.064 attack percentage for the match in committing 22 errors to 17 spikes, compared to Shawnee State’s aforementioned 39 kills and six mishaps.
At first, Pikeville looked like the crisper of the two squads as UPike would grab a 6-2 advantage off of two Sydney Hall kills to start the first frame.
However, it wouldn’t take Shawnee State long to completely turn the tables on Pikeville, as SSU utilized three kills apiece from Galbrath, Miranda Clark, and Christina Shelton to go on a 13-5 run and take a 15-11 advantage.
From there, UPike would come no closer than two points as after a small Pikeville run to close the gap to a 16-14 tilt, Galbrath would close strong with four spikes to allow Shawnee State to go on a game-ending 9-3 run.
In the second set, SSU would obtain the first four points of the match off of UPike errors before Pikeville struck back with three consecutive points – including two off of service aces – to cut the gap to a 4-3 tally.
Shawnee State, however, was just getting started, as SSU went on an 8-2 run off of two Helbig spikes to grab a 12-4 advantage.
After a Pikeville point in the 17th volley, Shawnee State would go on an even more dominating tear to end the second set as two service aces and a kill by Shelton would be the highlight of an astounding 13-1 run as SSU took the second set by an astronomical 25-6 count in the second set.
The third set would feature more of the same as Shawnee State took the first five points behind a kill apiece from Helbig and Clark to take a 5-0 lead.
From there, UPike would never get closer than gaps of 7-2 and 9-4 over the rest of the match as a half-dozen SSU players would obtain kills as Shawnee State closed the match on a 20-10 tilt to take the victory.
In addition to Helbig’s 10 kills and Galbrath’s nine spikes, Clark would also add nine kills on a .429 attack percentage, while Shelton would record seven kills and a .333 mark on the frontline. Bonnie Huesing would add 33 assists – averaging
11 helpers per set – in setting up the SSU offensive attack. Helbig and Clark would also add three solo blocks, with Shelton adding on two service aces, to complete the efforts in the front.
On the backline, Madison Smith would continue to impress with 15 more digs to bump her career total up to 2,022 while Madison Knipp would set a career-high with four service aces, leading the Shawnee State efforts in that particular category.
Shawnee State will obtain a day of rest before returning to nonconference action, where SSU will Mount Vernon Nazarene, who is receiving votes in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll, in Mount Vernon. The nonconference bout will commence at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4.