SSU volleyball straight-sets UPike

PORTSMOUTH — On the scoreboard, the Shawnee State volleyball team picked up a pivotal Mid-South Conference victory over Pikeville.

However, Shawnee State also scored another victory off the court as well — one that is definitely of the permanent variety.

While SSU’s straight-set victory over UPike (25-13, 25-6, 25-9) was an outstanding triumph and a much-needed one for the Bears, first-year head coach Devan Scarberry’s victory was the biggest one of all — as Scarberry accepted a marriage proposal from her fiance, Stefan King, following Thursday’s straight-set sweep of their visiting conference rival.

In the victory, Shawnee State (3-7, 2-4 MSC) outdid Pikeville significantly in every category — posting 61 digs to UPike’s 40, while notching 33 kills on a .262 attack percentage to Pikeville’s 12 kills and a -.133 attack mark.

Colling, Palazzo, Gill

stand out on front line

In a balanced offensive attack, Bethany Colling, Alexis Palazz0 and Bella Gill stood out throughout Thursday evening’s match.

Colling and Gill, who both posted outstanding attack percentages, notched marks of .467 and .429 in the contest.

The pair notched two kills apiece in the opening set — notching their four combined spikes over the game’s final 22 volleys in a 25-12 opening-set win.

Following that opening-set victory, the pair then combined with Palazzo to notch 11 kills over the second set — aiding Shawnee State greatly in a massive 20-2 run that helped the Bears grab a 25-6 second-set win.

Colling, by herself, notched five of those spikes in the second frame — while Gill added in three on her own accord.

During the third and final frame, Palazzo took her turn on center stage.

The junior from Marietta notched four of her seven kills in the final frame, while Colling added two final blows herself, aiding a massive 16-2 spurt that put the match to bed for good.

Cochran, Payne efficient

Known as two cerebral players, Emilee Cochran and Maddie Payne certainly played their roles effectively on Thursday.

Cochran, who played as Shawnee State’s libero on Thursday evening, notched 20 digs to average 6.66 digs per set in the victory — all without committing a reception error.

Payne, meanwhile, added in a double-double with 16 assists and 11 digs while also, like Cochran, failing to commit a reception error.