September 8, 2016
For Immediate Release

AKRON, Ohio – Four Colonels set career-highs in kills, as the Eastern Kentucky University volleyball team turned in its best hitting performance of the season in Friday’s four-set loss to Youngstown State University on the opening night of the Akron Invitational.

EKU tallied 71 kills in the contest, hitting a season-best .242. Despite the Colonels’ offensive efficiency, the Penguins (3-5) won by scores of 25-19, 20-25, 25-18 and 36-34.

Juniors Nikki Drost (14), Ciera Koons (10) and Celina Sanks (24) along with sophomore Cassie Knutson (17) tallied career-highs in kills. Sanks’ 24 kills led all players and the Butler, Pennsylvania native also set a new career-high, connecting on 24-of-42 (.500) attempts. Koons’ three blocks were also a career-high.

Eastern Kentucky freshman Rachel Woody recorded her sixth double-double of the season and finished Friday’s match with a career-high 42 assists with 11 digs.

Back-and-forth they went in the fourth set, each team’s lead was short-lived. Youngstown State clung to a one point lead in what would be the decisive set, as the Colonels scored consecutive points and gained a 25-24 lead. The teams combined for nine match points before the Penguins were able to seal the win with a 36-34 decision.

The Colonels displayed their grit early, bouncing back from a 25-19 loss in the first set to even the score with a 25-20 victory in the second.

After the Penguins claimed the third, EKU battled in the lengthy fourth set but fell short of the win.

Lori Vanbeek led the offensive attack for Youngstown State with 21 kills. Vanbeek also finished with nine blocks.

EKU is back in action on Saturday as they take on Akron University at 12:30 p.m. and Canisius College at 4:30 p.m.