Freshman outside hitter Robin Poole recorded her eighth double-double of the season as Kentucky State University volleyball dropped a non-conference road matchup to the University of the Cumberlands on Tuesday evening.
The Thorobrettes (20-11, 13-4) returned to action after a week-long hiatus, by going five sets in a back and forth affair. KSU has three remaining matches on the schedule to prepare for the SIAC tournament, scheduled for Nov. 15-17. at the Birmingham Crossplex. The Patriots (12-15) snapped a seven-match losing streak with the win, dating back to Oct. 10.
The Thorobrettes and Patriots alternated sets throughout the evening with UC taking an early lead after a commanding 25-16 first set victory. KSU answered back with a second set 25-21 win forcing 10 UC errors in the process.
The defense leaned heavily towards KSU throughout, as the Thorobrettes out-blocked the hosting Patriots 13-5, and out-dug them 95-82. Junior middle blocker Landri Greathouse provided a team-high seven blocks and fought to keep KSU involved in the third set with three of her 13 kills in the 25-18 loss. But, KSU answered in the fourth set.
In dominating fashion, the Thorobrettes took the fourth set 25-15 with seven combined kills from freshman outside hitters Makayla Martin and Poole, riding the momentum into the fifth and final frame.
KSU jumped out of the gate with a 4-1 lead, holding the Patriots back, and eventually leading by as much as four at 10-6. A 9-4 run by UC ended the night for the Thororbrettes with a final of 16-14. With the loss, KSU moves to 4-3 overall in matches going five sets.
Poole ended her night with a season-high 20 digs and a match-high 16 kills. Freshman libero Gabriella Gracia also turned in a career-high in digs with 26, giving her three matches of 20 or more digs on the year.
Sophomore setter Hannah Smyers picked her fourth double-double of 2017 with 39 assists and matched a career-high in digs with 14.
KSU will be back in action on Friday inside the Exum Center with a 6:00 pm ET match against Kentucky Christian University.
by Eric Mathews