RU Volleyball caps tournament slate on a high

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Haley Shotwell

hshotwell@radford.edu

Radford University’s volleyball team concluded the portion of their 2012 tournament slate in Philadelphia, Pa. at the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Penn Invitational Friday Sept. 14 and Saturday Sept. 15.

RU had no trouble with their opening match as they rolled to an easy victory against George Mason University.

The key player in the game was freshman outside hitter Cheyanne James who had a career day with 14 kills and hit over 30 percent, leading RU to their fifth sweep of the season. Defensively, the Highlanders got some help from junior outside hitter Emily Carlin and senior libero Katelyn Meeks who had 15 digs each.

Sophomore setter Christine Beckham recorded a match-high 17 assists and 10 digs to chart her second consecutive double-double. George Mason never came close to beating the Highs as the scores of the sets were 25-17, 25-17, and 25-15. RU recorded 12 kills in the first set, 14 in the second and 10 in the third. George Mason dropped to 2-9 on the year with the loss.

The next game, featured the Highs versus the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. This time the outcome proved opposite from the first match-up as RU dropped three straight sets to the tough Rutgers team. The Highlanders didn’t go down without a fight, however, and were within four points of the Knights each set. The scores of the sets were 25-22, 25-21 and 25-23.

James and Carlin kept up their strong offensive production with eight kills apiece, while Carlin played strong defensively as well with 13 digs. Meeks recorded a season-high 22 digs. The redshirt senior is now just 81 digs shy of second place in the record books with a total of 1.219.

Sophomore setter Jena Braden had a strong outing with 14 assists in the game. RU recorded 10 kills in the first set,

12 in the second and 14 in the third. Big East Conference member Rutgers improved to 12-1 on the year after a close scare with the Highs.

With the last regular season tournament match of the year, Radford hoped to go out with a bang before returning home. They succeeded, beating the host, the Pennsylvania Quakers in four sets. The Highs won the first set in a close fight 26-24, lost the second set 9-25 and then won the last two 25-22 and 25-17.

Senior middle blocker Rachel Fertitta had a strong offensive performance with a career high 12 kills, hitting 40 percent from the floor. Carlin continued her strong play with 11 kills along with 11 digs. Meeks continued to add to her dig total with 27 on the day. Fertitta and Meeks were honored with spots on the all-tournament team for their effort in Radford going 2-1 on the weekend.

With the loss Penn fell to 4-4 on the year while Radford improved to over .500 on the season with an 8-7 record after a solid weekend of play. The Highlanders will have a long break before they return to the court in Lynchburg to face Big South foe Liberty on Friday, Sept. 21. At this time, both Liberty and Radford are posed as the top-two teams in the coaches’ preseason poll.

Sophomore setter Jena Braden had a strong outing with 14 assists in the game. Radford recorded 10 kills in the first set, 12 in the second and 14 in the third. Big East Conference member Rutgers improved to 12-1 on the year after a close scare with the Highs.

With the last regular season tournament match of the year, Radford hoped to go out with a bang before returning home. They succeeded, beating the host, the Pennsylvania Quakers in four sets. The Highs won the first set in a close fight 26-24, lost the second set 9-25 and then won the last two 25-22 and 25-17.

Senior middle blocker Rachel Fertitta had a strong offensive performance with a career high 12 kills, hitting 40 percent from the floor. Carlin continued her strong play with 11 kills along with 11 digs. Meeks continued to add to her dig total with 27 on the day. Fertitta and Meeks were honored with spots on the all-tournament team for their effort in Radford going 2-1 on the weekend.

With the loss Penn fell to 4-4 on the year while Radford improved to over .500 on the season with an 8-7 record after a solid weekend of play. The Highlanders will have a long break before they return to the court in Lynchburg to face Big South foe Liberty on Friday, Sept. 21. At this time, both Liberty and Radford are posed as the top-two teams in the coaches’ preseason poll.