Behind a season-high 59 kills and a .226 hitting percentage, the Wright State volleyball team defeated Saint Peter's in four sets Friday at the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe Challenge in Morgantown for its first win of the season. The Raiders won the match 24-26, 25-11, 25-19, 25-16.
The opening set featured four lead changes and six ties, including at 20-20 following three straight WSU points, including back-to-back kills by Natalie Catani. The Raiders again rallied for a tie at 24-24 on a Marisa Aiello kill and a block from Aiello and Mariah Nussbaum, only to see Saint Peter's win the next two points to take the set.
WSU, however, bounced back strong in the second set, hitting an impressive .414 with 13 in evening the match. The Raiders broke away from an 8-6 lead with an 8-2 run and outscored the Peahens 9-3 the rest of the way.
Wright State then jumped out to an 9-1 advantage in the third set, a burst that included two kills and a service ace from Aiello, and maintained at least a five-point edge the rest of the way. In the final set, the two teams were tied six times before the Raiders went in front to stay on kills by Dani Branco and Ashleigh Lucco.
For the match, WSU led in 59-38 in kills and .226-.090 in hitting percentage.
Aiello led the Raiders with 16 kills in hitting .324 with five block assists while Heidi Splinter posted her fourth double-double of the season of 14 kills and 13 digs in hitting .316. Catani just missed a double-double with nine kills and 15 digs while Samantha Daniel had 10 kills. Libero Katie Glassmeyer recorded 26 digs and setter Lucco dished out 51 assists.
Wright State (1-8) continues tournament play at 5:30 Friday evening against Radford.