Stout Defense Stifles Cap Volleyball on Day One of CWRU Invitational

Pictured: Leighann Osborne (25),Rylie Young (8) and Delanie Nahikian (3). Photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography
Pictured: Leighann Osborne (25),Rylie Young (8) and Delanie Nahikian (3). Photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Capital University Volleyball fell to 0-5 on the season after falling in its opening match of the CWRU Invitational, 3-1, to St. Mary-of-the-Woods College (Ind.) on Friday night.

Capital (0-5) and SMWC (2-5) ran the first set to a 16-16 tie before one big run tilted the scale in favor of the Pomeroys. Meagan White served up three aces and a pair of blocks by the Pomeroys fueled a 9-2 run to give SMWC an early 1-0 lead.

Set number two was decided in nearly the same fashion with a late run by the Pomeroys led to them doubling up the advantage. With the score 19-19, Gabriella Slagel strung together three kills and again the SWMC net defense contributed to a set-ending run. Slagle put down the winning point to earn the Pomeroys a 25-20 victory.

Cap's fortunes changed for the better in the third set when Jessica Gavlak (Sheffield Village, Ohio/Lutheran West) led a 6-0 run from the service line. Sophomore hitter Leighann Osborne (Canal Winchester, Ohio/Canal Winchester) strung together a pair of kills and was in on a block assist with teammate Kirsten Jutte to help the Crusaders jump out to an 8-3 lead. Their lead grew to 10 by the middle of the frame when Gavlak and Jutte went back-to-back with kills to make the score 17-7. Cap maintained that margin through to the final score of the set, 25-15.

For a third and final time, SMWC broke away late in the set to win another set, this time clinching the match. Tied 18-18, Slagle helped lead a five-point run from the service line that fueled the last breakaway. A kill and an error closed the book on the set, 25-19, and the match.

Osborne tallied a team-high 13 kills and hit .196 on the evening while adding two service aces and five digs. Kirsten Jutte (Fort Recovery, Ohio/Fort Recovery) had nine kills on a career-high 32 attempts. She also mixed in a pair of block assists toward the team's four total. Freshman Jenay Kocsis (Marysville, Ohio/Fairbanks) dealt a new career-high 29 assists.

The Pomeroys controlled the net with nine total blocks, four solo and 10 block assists. Alexis Woodburn had two solo blocks and three block assists to lead the team. McKenzi Kumpf tallied a double-double behind 13 kills and 14 digs.

The Crusaders will play twice on Saturday in the final day of the CWRU Invitational, hosted by Case Western Reserve University inside Horsburgh Gymnasium. Cap will play Defiance College at 12 p.m. and Hiram College at 2 p.m.