Volleyball Starts Strong but Fades in Loss to Muskingum

Pictured: Leighann Osborne (photo credit: Taylor Gibbs)
Pictured: Leighann Osborne (photo credit: Taylor Gibbs)

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Volleyball hosted Muskingum University at The Capital Center on Tuesday night in an Ohio Athletic Conference showdown. The Crusaders hung with the Fighting Muskies through the first two sets but Muskingum pulled away to win the match, 3-1 (25-22, 25-27, 25-11, 25-12).

With multiple well-placed attacks as part of their early assault, Capital held tough with the Muskies but errors helped the guests break away in the middle of the first set. Two service errors and two setting errors helped the Muskies pull away by five points, but Capital's fight and grit, and a Muskingum rotation error, helped bring them tie the game. Errors would bring an end to the first when a bad set and attack error gave Muskingum the final points to claim the win.

Muskingum quickly built a four-point lead early in the second frame but in the middle of the set freshman Olivia Hale put down two kills and Miranda Jordan added a service ace to fuel a 6-1 run and give Capital the lead back. Though Muskingum was done battling, it took extra points to decide the second. Tied at 25, Jessica Gavlak (Sheffield Village, Ohio/Lutheran West) teamed up with Delanie Nahikian (Allegan, Mich./Allegan) at the net for a big-time block to bring set-point to the table. Nahikian then finished it off with the set-clinching kill to tie the match at one game, each.

The Fighting Muskies came out in each of the next two sets with a renewed vigor and showed the reason they were receiving votes in the latest AVCA polls. Muskingum hit .455 in the third set, led by Kaitlin Goedde's four kills, and also recorded five blocks at the net to retake the lead, 2-1, behind a 25-11 fourth-set win. The fourth set began much like the previous and ended with a near-identical score. Capital's hit percentage dropped from .200 in the second to below zero and .023 in the fourth.

For the third time in four matches, Leighann Osborne (Canal Winchester, Ohio/Canal Winchester) recorded double-digit kills with a team-high 11 and a .241 hit percentage. Hale joined her with 10 kills, plus added seven digs and two block assists. Senior Koryne VanScoy led the team with 15 digs, while Isabel Jimenez paced the offense with 21 assists. She was one dig away from a double-double.

Capital's next two matches will be on the road beginning with another OAC matchup between the Crusaders (0-22, 0-6 OAC) and Ohio Northern University (16-7, 5-1 OAC) this Saturday, October 20, at 1 p.m. The team's next home match will be Friday, October 26 when they host Otterbein University in a rivalry and conference season finale.