(PAINESVILLE, Ohio) – It would be hard to script a better weekend for the Lake Erie volleyball team as it defeated both teams tied for first place in the East Division on consecutive days. This time it came against Malone by scores of 23-25, 25-22, 15-25, 25-12, 17-15.
It appeared the Storm (20-9, 11-6) would be on the bottom end of the scoreboard for a while in the fifth set as they trailed 13-8 at one point and faced match point at 14-10 to the Pioneers (15-13, 11-5). However, Crystal Kedroske sparked the match-saving rally with a kill which was followed by an ace by Morgan Briggs. A kill by Maria Blatnik and another by Kedroske tied the set at 14-all.
An attack error put Malone back up and serving for the match at 15-14, but Lake Erie bounced back yet again with kills from Kedroske and Courtney Rosebrook before stunning the Pioneers with the comeback win on an ace from Hallie Zumack.
Kedroske powered the Storm's offense with a match-high 22 kills on the day. She was a dig away from a 20-20 game. Three other Storm players reached double-figures on offense as Hailey Nielsen spiked down 14, followed by 13 from Rosebrook and 10 from Blatnik. Setting up the offense was Alexis Thomas with 51 assists.
It wasn't the only good thing to happen to Lake Erie today as it also secured a playoff bid to the G-MAC Tournament in two weeks. Lake Erie is now just a half-game behind the Pioneers and 1.5 games behind Walsh in the East Division standings.
Lake Erie will conclude the regular season next weekend with home contests against Alderson Broaddus and Davis & Elkins. The Battlers will visit Painesville first for a 7 p.m. start on Friday.