By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
WOOSTER, Ohio – Each match that the Capital University volleyball team played had its own storyline with different flows, results and leaders. On the opening day of the Ginny Hunt Kilt Classic, hosted by The College of Wooster, the Purple and White escaped with a 1-1 recorded with a loss to the Fighting Scots but an impressive win over the University of Pitt-Bradford.
MATCH 1 – Wooster defeats Capital, 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-10, 25-17)
Capital began their opening match of the tournament with a near-unstoppable offense by hitting at a 44.7 percent success rate in the first set against the Fighting Scots. The team committed just two errors and had 19 kills to Wooster's 11. However, their roles reversed in the next set and the hosts never looked back after that moment.
Leighann Osborne (Canal Winchester, Ohio/Pickerington Central) posted a monstrous effort early in the contest, recorded seven of her team-high 17 kills in the first set. At one point, she ripped three kills in a row to turn a one-point deficit into a two-point lead. Cap did not break away from the Fighting Scots until the teams were deadlocked at 20-20, but then Cap recorded five of the last seven points and take the first set, 25-22. Osborne was in on two of those points with her sixth and seventh kills of the match. Fellow freshman Bryanna Masters (Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) put the set away with her fourth kills of the match, at that point.
Though Cap battled to keep close and even tied the match late, a three-point run at the end of the second set tied the match and turned the tide in Wooster's favor. Cap hit .100 or under in each of the final two frames, leading to 15- and eight-point defeats to close the match.
Osborne finished the match with a .353 hit percentage and shared the team lead for attacks (34) with Masters. Masters finished with nine kills and 13 digs.
Wooster's Ksenia Klue led both sides with 19 kills, while Taylor Mathews recorded a double-double with 40 assists and 12 digs.
MATCH 2 – Capital defeats Pitt-Bradford, 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-12)
Capital turned it around and came out firing while steadily increasing their hit percentage over the course of the match against the Panthers. In no set did they dip below .275 on the attack and topped out at .345 when they closed out the match in straight sets.
Senior Graysan Braun (Springfield, Ohio/Northwestern) emerged as the leader for the Capital offense, recording 15 kills against Pitt-Bradford. She came up one kill short of matching her career high in that category, which she recorded as a sophomore against Franciscan University on Oct. 9, 2015.
The Crusaders rattled off nine straight points to open the match with Tripp at the service line. Braun recorded three kills in that run alone and Pitt-Bradford committed just two errors in that time. Cap built its lead to as many as 13 before the Panthers rallied to make it seven, but Cap closed out the set before they got any closer.
Both teams battled fiercely in the second set, but a collection of freshmen rose up to build Cap's lead to 2-0. Down 23-22, Masters team up with Braun to close an attacking lane and record a block to tie the game. Jessica Gavlack and Masters then followed with back-to-back kills to produce the win and a healthy lead heading into the third set.
The third set start much like the first with a big run to set the course for the Purple and White. Capital started on a 9-2 run, fueled by two kills by Braun, who was also involved in a block in the middle of that stretch. Cap then ended the match on a 9-1 run en route to recording their highest hit percentage in a set for the night (.345).
Other notable performances against Pitt-Bradford include Kasey Parkhurst's sixth double-double of the year. The Castalia, Ohio native put up 10 kills and 10 digs. Tripp contributed 21 assists, three service aces, and was one dig short of a double-double.
Capital, now 5-6, will close out their stay at The College of Wooster with Frostburg State University (10:30 a.m.) and Franciscan (12:30 p.m.) on Saturday.