CALIFORNIA, Pa. - The Saginaw Valley State University volleyball team continued its undefeated streak to begin the 2015 season, improving to 6-0 overall after posting a sweep on the opening day of the Vulcan Invitational, hosted by California University of Pennsylvania. The Cardinals opened the day defeating Bridgeport (Conn.) by a 3-1 score before posting a 3-0 victory over Clarion (Pa.).
Game One | Bridgeport
Saginaw Valley jumped out to a 2-0 advantage after the first two sets, claiming them by scores of 25-20 and 25-16, respectively. The Purple Knights cut the deficit to 2-1 with a 25-22 victory in the third frame. The Cardinals, however, would close things out with a 25-17 win in the fourth and final set.
Brooke Tiller earned Chili's "Player of the Match" honors for the Cards, recording a team-high 26 digs to anchor the defense.
Emily Nieman (17) and Andrea Brigham (12) added double-figures in digs as well. Kaylee Schmitt had a team-high 10 kills with three blocks, as did McKenzie Schuster. Kelly Vellucci had 40 assists for SVSU, adding seven kilss, six digs and three blocks of her own.
"We started pretty solid and passed well," said head coach Will Stanton, whose team is 6-0 for the first time since 2008. "We blocked and dug well until game three when we struggled a little with their serve and their passing improved so they were able to run their offense more consistently. We did rebound well though and did what we needed to do in game four to close out for the victory."
Game Two | Clarion
The Cardinals opened their second match of the day with a 25-18 win in the first set. They would follow that with a tightly-contested 26-24 victory in the second frame before claiming victory with another 25-18 edge in set number three.
Brigham led the way offensively, tallying 17 kills on with a .467 hitting percentage while adding 11 digs. She earned Chili's "Player of the Match" plaudits for her performance.
Tiller had a team-high 16 digs while Vellucci had 36 helpers. Schuster had eight kills and Schmitt led the way with three blocks.
"Our serving was pretty effective against Clarion and that allowed us to be stronger offensively," added Stanton. "They are a very big team and they blocked well, so we had to make some adjustments at the net. Out girls did a great job responding to their blocking and pulled out the victory."
Saginaw Valley (6-0) continues play Saturday with games against the host California (Pa.) Vulcans at 10:00 a.m. before tangling with Truman State in a 1:00 p.m. match-up.
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