MINNEAPOLIS - The Miami University volleyball team made a great comeback after dropping the first two sets, but it dropped a back-and-forth fifth set, 14-16, and fell to Albany, 2-3 (16-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-21, 14-16). The match was the opening contest of the Diet Coke Classic in Minneapolis, Minn. The RedHawks fall to 1-3 on the season, while the Great Danes improve to 1-3.
Meg Riley continued her amazing start to the 2012 season. Serving both as a setter and an outside hitter, she recorded a triple-double for the third consecutive game. Riley finished with 17 kills, 23 assists and 12 digs. Redshirt freshman Sarah Chaney also had a breakout game, recording 13 kills and five digs.
Kills by Madison Dodd, Lisa Treadway, Christina Menche and Jenny Ingle, along with a service ace from Riley allowed Miami to play Albany even early in set one. With the score tied at eight, the Great Danes would go on a 7-3 run to take a 15-11 advantage and force a RedHawk timeout. Out of the break Miami fought back by forcing an attack error and getting a Treadway kill to pull within two. Albany would respond with an 8-2 run to take control at 23-15. Menche put down one more kill, but the Great Danes took the next two points to earn a 25-16 win.
It was a great start in set two as two kills apiece from Riley and Menche, along with a service ace from Riley would help give Miami a 9-4 advantage. Albany would go on a 5-1 run to pull within one, but Ingle would team up with Dodd on a block and put down a kill to help bring the lead back to three at 13-10. The Great Danes continued to fight back, but the RedHawks would maintain an advantage throughout the middle part of the set. After a service error gave the Red and White a 19-17 lead, Albany would have its decisive run. It took the next seven points in row to go in front, 24-19. Riley would stop the streak with a kill off of Amy Kendall's assist, but the Great Danes won the next point to take a 25-20 victory.
It did not look good early in set three as Miami fell behind quickly, 1-5. Kills by Chaney, Riley and Treadway sparked a 5-1 answer that would tie the score at six. Tied at nine, the RedHawks went on a 9-2 run that gave them an 18-11 lead. During the run, Ingle would team up with Chaney and Riley for a pair of blocks. Albany fought back to within four at 15-19, but a kill from Riley and a solo block by Chelsea Visk helped Miami get the advantage back to six at 22-16. The Great Danes had a 6-2 run to make it 22-24, but Ingle smashed down a kill off of Riley's assist to give the RedHawks a 25-22 win.
Riley and Treadway came alive with two kills each as Miami took a 7-4 lead in set four. Albany responded with a 6-2 run to take a 10-9 advantage of its own. It would end up being the Great Danes' only lead of the set, as a kill by Riley, an attack error from Albany and a service ace by Treadway would give the RedHawks the lead right back at 12-10. Two kills by Chaney helped increase the advantage to 17-13. Albany pulled to within one at 16-17 with three straight points, but a 4-1 run by the Red and White would help put the set away. Ingle once again got the final point as Miami took a 25-21 victory.
The Great Danes took four of the first five points in the deciding set to put the RedHawks on their heels early. Miami fought right back as a block by Riley and Ingle and a service ace by Chaney would start a run of five straight points to give it a 6-4 lead and force Albany to take timeout. The Great Danes would take the next point, but Riley responded with two consecutive kills to give the RedHawks their largest lead at 8-5. Albany answered again by scoring the next three straight, but back-to-back kills by Riley and Treadway made it 10-8. The Great Danes would eventually go on a 3-1 run to tie the score at 11-11 and force Miami to take a timeout.
Chaney scored two more kills out of the break off of Albany's serve, but each time the Great Danes would get the sideout right back to retie the score. Tied at 13, Albany would score on its own serve to set up match point. Riley would answer with a kill to fight it off and tie it at 14. The Great Danes would score again with another sideout. This time on the next point they were able to put it down and win the final set by a score of 16-14.
In addition to Riley and Chaney's fine offensive performances, Treadway, Ingle and Menche each recorded nine kills. As a team, Miami had 10 total blocks, with Ingle assisting on seven of them. Kendall had a double-double with 28 assists and 10 digs, while Madison Hardy led the RedHawks with 19 digs.
Miami completes play at the Diet Coke Classic with two games on Saturday. The RedHawks take on the host, 16th-ranked Minnesota at 11 a.m. (EDT). They follow it up with a match against LIU-Brooklyn at 6 p.m. (EDT).