Volleyball Splits in Atlantic Region Crossover Tournament

Coach Riley Schenk’s Hilltoppers (9-6) looked to continue their hot start to the season in the Atlantic Region Crossover Tournament held on the campus of West Liberty University (WLU).

The first game of the tournament, the Hilltoppers squared off against Slippery Rock University (3-9) on Sept. 17. The Hilltoppers faltered in the fifth set to open the tournament.

The first set went to Slippery Rock 25-15. WLU then rebounded and grabbed the second set 25-23. The third set saw the Hilltoppers grab the lead with a 25-21 win. The fourth set saw Slippery Rock narrowly edge the Hilltoppers 25-23 to force a deciding fifth set. The fifth set Slippery Rock claimed victory with a 15-11 win.

Leading the Hilltoppers in the match was MacKenzie Daub who recorded a team leading 12 kills and 6 blocks. Nyia Setla also had an impressive 35 digs.

The second game was against Millersville University (4-10) and the Hilltoppers looked to rebound after their first match defeat.

The first set, the Hilltoppers set the tone with a win by the score of 25-19. The next set the Hilltoppers kept their foot on the gas and took a commanding 2-0 lead behind a 25-15 win. The final set the Hilltoppers swept the Marauders with a 25-10 win.

Leading the charge was Madison Clayton. She recorded 13 kills and had 5 blocks. She also hit an impressive 61.9%. Nina Billotto finished with 9 kills and 6 blocks. Daub finished with 7 kills and 6 blocks. Kirsten Bogunovich set a season high for the Hilltoppers with 39 assists. Setla led the Hilltoppers with 17 digs.

The sweep put the Hilltoppers back on track and geared up for the rest of the tournament.

On Saturday, Sept. 18 the Hilltoppers had two remaining matches. One against Bloomsburg University (5-7) and the other against Clarion University (8-4).

The first match on Saturday, the Hilltoppers picked up right where they left off with a sweep against Bloomsburg.

The Hilltoppers took the first set 25-21. Then the second set by a commanding 25-7 score. The final set, the Hilltoppers finished the job with a 25-22 win.

Riley Cudnik led the Hilltoppers with 10 kills and 11 digs. Katelynn Fritz was not far behind as she had 9 kills and 14 digs. Daub had 8 kills and 2 blocks. Clayton led the team with 4 blocks, while also recording 7 kills. Setla led the team with 21 digs.

One match after setting the West Liberty season high with 39 assists, Bogunovich one upped herself and had an astounding 40 assists. It will most likely not be long before she breaks her own record again.

The final match of the tournament was against Clarion as the Hilltoppers looked to finish strong.

The match however went in Clarions favor as they took all three sets, however all three sets saw the Hilltoppers within striking distance.

The first set, Clarion narrowly took the win by the score of 25-23. The following set Clarion once again squeaked by and took the set 25-23. The final set Clarion ended the match with a sweep on the final set score of 24-18.

Cudnik led the Hilltoppers with 8 kills. She also had 2 blocks. Clayton led the Hilltoppers with 3 blocks. Setla led the Hilltoppers with 11 digs.

The Hilltoppers will gear up for conference play Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. against Notre Dame (Ohio) College. This will kick off their road to a potential conference championship.

Make sure to come out and support!