NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Miami University volleyball team continued its impressive play at the Belmont Invitational with a 3-1 (25-19, 27-29, 25-11, 30-28) victory over Memphis Saturday morning. The RedHawks improve to 2-0 on the season, while the Tigers fall to 1-1.
Miami was strong in front of the net, recording 16 total blocks. Freshman middle hitter Paige Hill assisted on 12 of the blocks, which is only two short of the RedHawk single-match record. She also contributed 12 kills for her first career double-double.
Sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle had one of the strongest games of her career. She finished with 14 kills to lead Miami, only one short of her career high. She had only one attack error in 25 attempts, a hitting percentage of .520.
Hill and sophomore outside hitter Sarah Chaney teamed up for three blocks early in set one, as Miami raced to an 11-3 lead. During the run, the ‘Hawks forced Memphis into five attack errors. The Tigers fought back with a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to three and force a Miami timeout. Out of the break, a pair of kills from sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig helped the Red and White push the advantage back to five at 16-11. Memphis closed to within three at 19-16, but Miami used two kills from Ingle, and kills from Chaney and junior outside hitter Meg Riley to finish the set on a 6-3 run to earn a 25-19 win.
Riley and Hill each had two kills to help the RedHawks open a 9-5 advantage to begin set two. Riley recorded two more kills off of Krista Brakauskas assists, while Hill assisted on two blocks, but the Tigers were able to go on a 15-7 run to take a 20-16 lead. A kill from senior outside hitter Madison Dodd sparked a 6-2 response by Miami that tied the score at 22. The teams traded points until it was tied at 24. From there, Hill and freshman outside hitter Maris Below teamed up for a block to create set point, but the Tigers fought it off. With the score tied at 27, Memphis was able to score two straight points to take the 29-27 victory.
Set three was all Miami. A pair of kills from Dodd off of Riley assists, plus three service aces by Hill helped stake the Red and White to an 8-2 lead. After a Memphis timeout, a service ace by Brakauskas, a kill from Ingle and three straight service aces from senior libero Madison Hardy would eventually increase the advantage to 16-4. That would be more than enough as an emphatic kill from Ingle finished off a 25-11 third-set win.
Tied at five in set four, two kills from Ingle sparked an 8-4 run that put Miami in front, 13-9. The Red and White maintained the advantage throughout the middle part of the set. With the RedHawks in front 22-18, the Tigers scored six straight to create set point. Miami did not give up however, as a service error and a block by Dodd and Hill tied the score at 24.
Memphis scored the next point to earn another opportunity to send the match to a fifth set. Once again a block from Dodd and Hill kept the set alive. A kill from Ingle and a block by Reiswig and Ingle also fought off set points by the Tigers. Tied at 28, two straight blocks by Hill and Below gave Miami a hard-fought, 30-28, win, and a 3-1 victory in the match.
Riley recorded her first double-double of the season, finishing with 21 assists and a career-high 16 digs. Brakauskas led the RedHawks with 22 assists. Miami hit .204 for the match, while holding Memphis to a .124 hitting percentage.
The RedHawks will look to win the Belmont Invitational later Saturday when they take on the host Bruins at 7 p.m. (EDT).