Volleyball Unable to Sustain Strong Start, Falls to Muskingum

Pictured: Bryanna Masters (left) and Jaelin Rios (right) // photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography
Pictured: Bryanna Masters (left) and Jaelin Rios (right) // photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

NEW CONCORD, Ohio – Capital University Volleyball went into the Anne C. Steele Center and stormed out to a 25-22 first-set win over the Muskingum University Fighting Muskies on Tuesday night. However, the hosts turned it around to take each of the next three sets to stave off the Crusaders.

Capital (9-15, 1-3 OAC) came out strong on the offensive end to jump out to an eight-point lead, 16-8. During that stretch, seniors Graysan Braun (Springfield, Ohio/Northwestern) and Kasey Parkhurst (Castalia, Ohio/Margarita), and freshman Leighann Osborne (Canal Winchester, Ohio/Pickerington North) each threw down three kills. Osborne went on to add two more over the course of the set, while Capital's .267 hitting percentage carried the Crusaders to an early 1-0 lead.

As optimistic a start as it was for Capital the Muskies, who entered the match off to one of its best starts in recent history, arose from the ashes to take control of the match. In each of the next three sets, the Muskies turned in early scoring rallies to jump out to early leads. Muskingum held onto those early leads to victories and take the match, 3-1.

In the second set, the Muskies built its lead behind strategic play and finding holes in the Capital defense with soft touches and second-hit attacks. That style fueled its .455 hit percentage and a 25-17 set win. A pair of seven-point runs in the third helped lead Muskingum to a 25-15 victory. Five Capital errors put the Crusaders in an early deficit, and accompanied with another round of efficient Musky hitting led to a 14-5 run to begin the fourth. The hosts went on to win the set, 25-13, and the match.

Muskingum's Brooke Fatheree led all players with 13 kills (.222) and 10 digs.

Kasey Parkhurst led Cap with 12 kills, a .292 hit percentage and was one dig away from another double-double. Sophomore Jaelin Rios (Champlin, Minn./Totino-Grace) had her fourth game of 20 or more digs, finishing Tuesday night with a match-high 21.

In her first action since Sept. 30, freshman Laura Williamson (Glen Allen, Va./Patrick Henry) recorded her first double-double behind a career-high 19 assists and 14 digs.

Capital will return home this Saturday to face off against the University of Mount Union on Saturday, Oct. 14. The Purple Raiders and the Crusaders will start the match at 1 p.m. from inside The Capital Center.