PORTSMOUTH — The Shawnee State University volleyball team matched Cumberlands (Ky.) stride-for-stride defensively, posting 53 digs and 10 blocks, but only hit .029 as a unit — as the Bears fell in a competitive Mid-South Conference matchup to the visiting Patriots 3-0 (26-24, 27-25, 25-18) on Monday evening at Waller Gymnasium.
rolling in Set 1
Down by a 23-16 margin late in the opening set, the play of Nash Shelby was critical in getting the Bears back in the fight.
In the opening frame, Shelby posted both of her kills in the first set, adding in one of those kills — along with a solo block and an assisted denial — to lead SSU back from a seven-point deficit to a scant 24-23 margin.
However, Shawnee State’s -.156 hitting average in the opening set cost the Bears — as their rally fell short.
step up in Set 2
Needing additional lifts, Macie Rhoads and Alexis Palazzo helped Shawnee State get out to a great start in the second frame.
The duo, which combined for seven of the Bears’ first 13 points in Set 2, helped get SSU out to an 18-11 lead in the same set.
Rhoads led Shawnee State in both digs (17) and kills (eight), while Palazzo — who added in six spikes — matched the team’s best attack percentage in the match.
Shawnee State (2-7, 1-4 MSC) will face Pikeville at home on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. — inside the friendly confines of Waller Gymnasium.
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