CLEVELAND – The Case Western Reserve University volleyball team swept the University of Pittsburgh Bradford and rallied from a set down to beat Muskingum University in four sets on the opening night of the 2014 Marcia French Memorial Invitational at Horsburgh Gymnasim.
CWRU, serving as invitational co-host with Baldwin Wallace University, improves to 4-2 for the young season.
Against Pitt-Bradford (3-3), the Spartans won by scores 25-21, 25-15 and 25-17. Six different players recorded at least four kills, including freshman outside hitter Ganiru Anunike (Galena, Ohio/Olentangy) with a match-high eight. Junior Robyn Marks (Waterford, Mich./Waterford Mott) led three Spartan setters in the match with 16 assists, and sophomore libero Kristen Mitchell (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) was tops on defense with 19 digs.
In a spirited match with Muskingum (5-2), the Spartans dropped the opening set 25-19 before rallying for wins of 25-12, 25-15 and 25-13.
Sophomore right side hitter Marian Barton (Custer Park, Ill./Reed-Custer) and sophomore middle hitter Kayla Pfaff (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) highlighted the effort with nine kills and five block assists apiece. Marks and sophomore setter Lauren Gurd (Farmington Hills, Mich./Detroit Country Day) racked up 17 and 16 digs, respectively.
Mitchell once again led the defensive charge with a career-high 21 digs, running her total for the day to 40. Junior Katie Best (Sewickley, Pa./North Allegheny), typically the libero, played on the outside and posted 16 digs to go along with a career-best seven kills in just 13 attempts (.462).
The Spartans conclude the weekend on Saturday with matches against Westminster College (Pa.) and Capital University at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., respectively.