Despite a late run to take the third set and nearly clinch the fourth the Eastern Kentucky University volleyball team fell to Cleveland State University, 1-3, to open the Panther Challenge hosted by the University of Pittsburgh on Friday.
EKU fell by scores of 18-25, 15-25, 25-21 and 23-25.
After dropping the first two sets the Colonels were down 7-3 to begin the third but a short EKU rally quickly tied the match at 7-7. A couple of points later, 9-9, CSU committed a plague of errors to put Eastern Kentucky on top, 16-10.
A kill from Sanks and a service ace from libero Chloe Rojas clinched the set for EKU, keeping them alive and moving the score to 2-1.
In the fourth set the teams went point-for-point with the largest lead belonging to the Colonels at the 14-10 mark. But, a 5-0 Viking run gave the squad a 15-14 advantage. The teams again exchanged points for the remainder of the set, but Cleveland State came out on top, 25-23.
Nikki Drost led the Colonels with 11 kills and a stellar .323 hitting percentage, Sanks came up with 10. Rachel Woody notched a double-double in the loss with 28 assists and 11 digs.
Alexis Middlebrooks led the charge for the Vikings with 14 kills, hitting .407.
The loss moves EKU to 2-10 on the season while Cleveland State improves to 6-3.
The Colonels will play two tomorrow starting at 10 a.m. against the University of Pittsburgh and again at 5 p.m. against the University of California Santa Barbara.
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Assistant Director, EKUSports Communications