SSU posts 2nd straight straight-set win

CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. — Over the early portion of her head coaching career at Shawnee State, Devan Scarberry has already led the volleyball program to several inspiring performances.

Sunday afternoon’s showing against Thomas More was certainly one of those.

Macie Rhoads provided yet another double-double performance with 13 kills and 13 digs, Alexis Palazzo added in 10 spikes of her own, and Shawnee State rolled to its second consecutive straight-sets victory with a 3-0 win over Thomas More (25-17, 25-22, 25-21) at the Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills, Ky. in a Mid-South Conference contest.

Palazzo spearheads energy

Down 16-15 in the opening set, Palazzo provided the Bears with a necessary boost that helped Shawnee State not only close out the first set appropriately, but get out to an excellent start in the second set as well.

In a blistering 10-1 run that allowed Shawnee State to take home a 25-17 first-set victory, Palazzo racked up four kills during the run, while fellow front line hitter Bella Gill added a pair.

Palazzo then added two additional kills to help Shawnee State jump out to a 6-1 lead in the second set.

Rhoads adds to push

Having posted four kills in the first set herself, Rhoads added to Shawnee State’s advantage in the second and third frames.

With the Bears tied at 11-11 and 12-12, Rhoads provided back-to-back kills for the Bears, giving SSU a one-point lead at both junctures in the second set — then provided a third kill to tie the score at 14 apiece following a 2-0 run by Thomas More.

Rhoads also added a fourth kill in the second set during a 7-0 Shawnee State run following a 16-all tie — helping break the match open and giving the Bears a 25-22 second-set win.

Then, after three kills in the third set, she added her fourth and final spike in the frame — and her 13th kill in the match — during a 4-0 third-set run with the score tied at 19 apiece — to help give SSU a 25-21 win en route to winning the match.

For her career, Rhoads now has 928 kills and 836 digs.

She is seventh in school history in the former category, and 15th in the latter.

Contributing pieces come up large

Along with the aforementioned pair, several additional hands came up huge throughout the match.

Defensively, Emilee Cochran posted her second consecutive game with at least 20 digs in the straight-set victory, and her fifth effort with at least 20 or more digs in the season, while Darian Fiesler posted the best game of her young career with 11 digs herself on the back line.

On the front line, Gill, Alli McQuay, Nash Shelby and Bethany Colling combined for 15 kills themselves while seemingly posting their spikes at the most critical times — when Shawnee State’s lead or momentum advantage was tested.

McQuay’s five kills represents a career-best for the young freshman from Wheelersburg, while Gill posted four kills on a .500 attack percentage and Shelby three kills to go along with a pair of solo blocks.

Shelby had the kills in the second and third sets that started the difference-making 7-0 and 4-0 runs in each frame, while McQuay had a pair of kills in the former run.

From a setting standpoint, Maddie Payne and Maria Kolinoff were efficient all game long, posting 31 assists combined — while spreading out the attack efficiently among their front line counterparts.

Payne added in nine digs, helping contribute to the winning cause from a defensive standpoint.

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