Clarion U. Volleyball Downs IUP, 3-1

| October 11, 2017

CLARION, Pa. – The Clarion volleyball team shook off a rough second set to finish in the night strong, holding off the IUP Crimson Hawks 3-1 (25-20, 10-25, 25-20, 25-19) at Tippin Gymnasium in a key PSAC Southwest divisional match.

The Golden Eagles (14-6, 5-2 PSAC) will host two more matches at home this weekend when they host Slippery Rock and Edinboro.

The Golden Eagles clinched a quick first set but struggled in the second set, falling by a 25-10 score. They showed no ill effects in the remaining games, however, as they finished off the Crimson Hawks by five and six points respectively to end the match. IUP hit .258 in the first set but never topped .118 the rest of the match, including a .049 hitting percentage in the fourth set. Clarion out-blocked IUP 9.0 – 4.0 and controlled digs by a 63-54 margin.

Julia Holden was arguably the most effective offensive player for either side, totaling a match-high 19 kills while hitting .300 on 40 swings. Taylor Braunagel totaled 10 kills and Aubry Ohlson added seven. Kaitlyn Glaser turned it on late in the match, finishing with seven kills and seven blocks. Leah Vensel finished with 39 assists while Catherine Ferragonio had 24 digs.

Clarion broke an early tie in the first set with an ace by Lauryn Driscoll to give them an 11-10 advantage, and they never allowed IUP to re-take the lead. Braunagel made it 15-11 with a kill and Holden forced the Crimson Hawks into burning a timeout after acing Jess Marut to make it 22-16. Glaser was the one to post the set-winner, taking a set from Vensel and blasting it to make it 25-20.

After the rough second set, Clarion went on the attack again. It stayed tight throughout, with Clarion owning just a 20-19 advantage after a service ace from Natalie Cignetti. Braunagel buoyed the team with a kill, and the senior outside nearly served out the set for the Golden Eagles. Ohlson made it 22-19 with a kill, and Braunagel glanced an ace off Cignetti to make it a four-point advantage. Holden finished off the game with a kill to make it 25-20.

The Golden Eagles started the fourth set on a 5-0 run, starting with back-to-back kills by Holden and including a combo block from Glaser and Holden. The Crimson Hawks stormed back to cut the lead to 10-8, and eventually tied the set at 19 after a service error by Holden. However, it would be the last point they scored, as Clarion closed the match on a 6-0 run. Driscoll aced Marut to make it 23-19, and the duo of Glaser and Vensel shut the door on Cignetti on match point for the win.

Natalie Cignetti led IUP with 14 kills. Clarion High School graduate Ellie Burns chipped in nine digs.

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