OU volleyball earns first Horizon League win

Jake Alsko

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Oakland University women’s volleyball (7-10, 1-2) defeated Youngstown State (9-8, 1-1)  in the Athletics Center O’rena to snap a four-game losing streak and earn their first Horizon League conference win, winning in four sets of 25-17, 27-25, 19-25 and 25-19.

The Golden Grizzlies were led by Cassie Pelloni’s 12 kills, and Taylor Humm and Ciara Schultz each coming up with 13 digs.

“The O’rena’s always been a great place for us to play,” OU head coach Rob Beam said. “We got a huge fan base here tonight. I give a lot of credit to our crowd, our fellow student-athletes supporting our players.”

“The community, they really stepped up here on the Black Out, and I think they really helped us carry the emotion into the first two sets and then when the match settled down, it really just turned into a game of execution. And fortunately we had a great fourth set and got the win,” Beam said.

Brooke Wadsworth, junior, added two solo blocks and three block assists while sophomore Amanda Baker contributed a solo block and two block assists.

“We came together as a team, especially after Taylor (Humm) got hurt,” Baker said. “We were playing for Taylor because she’s a big part of our team and we just really wanted to get a win (for her). We really needed this win … we were just able to come together … it was just a really special win.”

Humm suffered a lower leg injury in the fourth and final set that forced her to miss the remainder of the game.

“We’re just going to have an evaluation done and hopefully Taylor will be back at it shortly,” Beam said.

OU got off to a hot start winning the first two sets, with the second-set win requiring an impressive comeback by the Grizzlies, who had trailed 24-20 to Youngstown before eventually pulling out the set 27-25.

An early five-point Youngstown lead in the third set proved to be too much for the Grizzlies to overcome, as the Penguins won 25-19 to keep the match alive.

OU’s success in the fourth set mirrored their first. After being tied 4-4 in the fourth set, OU took the lead and didn’t let go, winning the set 25-19 to secure the match victory. 

The Grizzlies will travel to Dayton, Ohio to take on Wright State Oct. 11 before returning home to play Bowling Green State University Oct. 15 at 7 p.m.