SSU wins 3rd straight with sweep of KCU


PORTSMOUTH — Anytime a team celebrates Senior Night, one hopes that said team will come out of the woods with a victory.

On Maria Kolinoff’s behalf, Shawnee State accomplished just that on Tuesday evening.

The Bears benefit-ted from a double-double effort from Macie Rhoads, and a strong defensive effort with 52 digs and eight blocks as a team, en route to a straight sets victory over Kentucky Christian (25-14, 25-11, 25-22) in a non-conference matchup at Waller Gymnasium.

Shawnee State — which hit .136 on the attack as a team — won its third straight contest to move to 5-7, while Kentucky Christian dropped to 7-12.

Rhoads posts ninth

double-double of season

Proving to be a dominant force throughout the three-set contest, Rhoads added in her ninth double-double of the 2020-21 campaign — with her team-highs of 12 kills and 16 digs.

Rhoads, who hit .304 on the attack in the victory, posted her 33rd career double-double — showcasing her powerful spike throughout the evening’s festivities.

She passed four-year letterwinner Christina Shelton for the sixth-most kills in program history, and now has 940 in all, while moving into 14th place all-time in career digs with 852.

Kolinoff enjoys

successful Senior Night

Having contributed currently 781 assists and 416 digs throughout her time as a Bear, Kolinoff enjoyed her own night with a pregame dedication followed by a postgame victory.

Her career totals — which include her 13-dig, five-assist effort from Tuesday evening — are part of a career that saw Kolinoff overcome an ACL tear in high school to enjoy a record-breaking career at Canal Fulton Northwest.

That’s because she set school records for all-time digs and attack attempts.

At Shawnee State, Kolinoff has continued to excel, filling in a variety of roles with SSU over the past two seasons — following her transfer from Mount Vernon Nazarene.

She’s played in 163 career sets and 44 career matches with the Bears, and in addition, has posted a 3.56 GPA as an exercise science major — which will make the senior not only an academic all-MSC honoree, but an NAIA Scholar-Athlete as well.

“It’s been amazing playing alongside my teammates and coaches,” Kolinoff said. “Devan (Scarberry) is a wonderful coach, and she has made each one of us better players and people. She really pushes us hard and we have all benefited from such a passionate coach. My teammates have worked really hard, and it’s been fun playing with players and coaches who love the game as much as I do. My favorite memories have been building the relationships and friendships that I’ve developed with my teammates and coaches, and I’ll miss working hard with my teammates to become the best player that I can be. Being surrounded by such hardworking and dedicated women to become better is such an empowering feeling. I have always given it my all throughout playing sports, and I will really miss the competitive atmosphere that comes with it.”

Additional/Up Next

Maddie Payne added in 14 assists while Emilee Cochran posted 11 digs to lead the Bears from a passing and defensive standpoint, while Alexis Palazzo, Nash Shelby and Bella Gill combined for 14 kills.

Shawnee State (5-7, 3-4 MSC) will look to even its conference record when the Bears face Georgetown (Ky.) on Thursday evening at home.

Match time is set for 7 p.m. at Waller Gymnasium.

For more information on SSU Bears Athletics, visit www.ssubears.com or visit the Twitter and Facebook pages at https://twitter.com/SSUBears and https://www.facebook.com/SSUBears. For more information on how to join the SSU Bear Club or for sponsorship of specific SSU players or events, visit https://givetossu.com/bear-club and https://givetossu.com/sponsorthebears.

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