The West Virginia University volleyball team earned a 3-0 sweep against Loyola in its 2021 season opener, on Friday morning, at the ODU Volleyball Center, in Norfolk, Va. The Mountaineers took the lead in set scores of 25-15, 25-21 and 25-16.
“It was great to compete today,” said Reed Sunahara. “We did some nice things from an offensive and defensive standpoint. We have a long way to go, but I thought we played well overall.”
Senior setter Lacey Zerwas recorded the first double-double of the season with 28 assists and 11 digs in the match. Fifth year defensive specialist Alexa Hastings (20) also recorded double-digit digs on the evening.
In her WVU debut, redshirt senior setter Adrian Ell led WVU with 12 kills against Loyola, adding three service aces and six digs to the match, while fifth year middle blocker Briana Lynch also recorded double-digit kills with 10 for a .474 hitting efficiency.
The Mountaineers posted 37 kills for a .250 hitting efficiency and 11 team blocks in the win. The Greyhounds had 33 kills for a .107 hitting efficiency and two team blocks. Of note, Abby Hamilton led Loyola’s offense with 11 kills.
The Mountaineers rolled to a 25-15 win in the first set, hitting .367 with 12 kills. The set opened with alternating points between the teams before Loyola went on a 5-0 run to take an 8-5 lead. WVU went on a 6-0 run of its own to take the lead 14-10.
A pair of kills from Ell and one from senior outside hitter Natali Petrova extended the Mountaineers lead to five. Following the points, Loyola saw a pair of attack errors to extend the gap and give WVU a 20-13 lead. A successful West Virginia challenge gave freshman middle blocker Madison Page her third kill on the night. WVU took a 1-0 match lead after a Loyola attack error.
Loyola used a 3-0 scoring streak to take a 12-6 lead midway through the second set. WVU went on a 6-0 scoring run to tie up the set at 12. After alternating points, WVU ultimately took the match after a 3-0 scoring run to end the set 25-21.
The Mountaineers posted 18 kills for a .214 hitting efficiency and 3 team blocks in the third set. WVU soared through the third set after a 4-0 run and never looked back. Loyola could not put forth momentum, as WVU captured the final set 25-16 for the 3-0 victory.
The Mountaineers will return to the court for a 7 p.m. ET tilt with host Old Dominion, on Friday evening. Live stats can be found on WVUsports.com.
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