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YSU Press Release

YSU volleyball comes up short on Johnson's career night

Updated:

Youngstown, Ohio - The Youngstown State team got 20 kills from both Nichele Johnson and Missy Hundelt, but the Penguins came up just short in a four-set loss to Valparaiso (25-22, 25-23, 23-25, 26-24) on Friday night at Beeghly Center.

Johnson's 20 kills were a career high by far, surpassing her previous high of nine. She had just 30 attempts and two errors, but one of those came when Lindsey Hauch and Kelsey Victor blocked her on match point. Hundelt had 19 kills and just three errors in the final three sets.

Victor had 15 kills to lead Valparaiso, which remained in second place in the Horizon League standings with an 8-3 mark in conference play. YSU dropped to 4-8 in league matches.

The match featured 30 ties and 15 lead changes, and an odd sequence at the end of the second set swung the match largely in Valpo's favor.

The Penguins rallied from a 13-6 deficit in the set to get within two at 22-20. Casey D'Ambrose came in to serve for the Penguins, who won a long rally to make the score 22-21. After the long rally, Hundelt went back to serve instead of D'Ambrose, and the match continued. YSU ended up saving two set points to tie the score at 24-24, and Valpo called a time out. At that point, the scorekeeper realized that YSU's rotation was incorrect, and the set was given to Valpo with a 25-23 score.

Valpo worked through 10 ties and six lead changes in the opening set and emerged 25-22 by scoring the final three points. The Crusaders' largest lead came at 19-15, but YSU rallied to tie the set three times at 20, 21 and 22. D'Ambrose served wide to give Valpo a 23-22 lead, and the Crusaders scored the next two points on an Alexis Egler error and a Morgan Beil kill.

With Valparaiso up 2-0 after two sets, YSU rallied yet again to win the third 25-23. The Crusaders led by five twice, the second time at 14-9, and held the upper hand until YSU went on a 6-2 run to tie the set at 21. YSU extended the run to go up 23-21, and kills from Egler and Johnson gave YSU the 25-23 win.

Valpo built a 4-1 lead in the fourth set, but YSU tied it at 4-4 as the set went on to have 17 ties and eight lead changes. Neither team led by more than two the rest of the set, and the Penguins held a 23-21 advantage after a Valpo attack error. Back-to-back errors allowed the Crusaders to tie the set, but a Jackie Carlisle gave YSU a chance to force a fifth set. From there, Egler was blocked, Victor had a kill and Johnson was blocked.

YSU finished with three more kills and two more blocks than Valparaiso, and the Penguins also outhit the Crusaders .219 to .205. Valpo had two more aces and four fewer serving errors.

Youngstown State will play its final home match of the season on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Wright State. Senior Kelsey Wagy will be honored prior to the match in what will be her final contest at Beeghly Center.

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