PIKEVILLE – It wasn’t a perfect weekend for the University of Pikeville volleyball team, but picking up a win on the back side of Saturday’s doubleheader was definitely a positive. The Bears fell 3-0 to WVU Tech in the morning contest but snapped an 11-match losing streak in the afternoon by shutting out Johnson University 3-0 before an approving crowd.
While all three games against WVU Tech were competitive, the Bears struggled to sustain runs of good play long enough to hold the lead. A good block by sophomore Taylor Bragg allowed classmate Samantha Ayres to record back-to-back aces to tie the game up at 16, but an unkind net proved to be the Bears’ undoing as they lost Set One 25-20.
WVU Tech’s Kylie Whitney provided the highlight of the morning in Set Two when she ran out of bounds and past the scorer’s table to save a ball which her team returned en route to a close 25-22 victory for the Golden Bears. UPIKE was unable to generate much momentum in Game Three, which WVU Tech eventually won 25-19 to close the Bears out.
Johnson University, which had lost 3-2 to WVU Tech earlier Saturday afternoon, got a taste of the Bears’ real potential. A dominant performance in Set One saw UPIKE lead by as many as eight for most of the game after a strong performance out of the gate, and Johnson’s late rally was eventually turned back emphatically by senior Brittany Hodge’s spike to the Evangels’ floor for a 25-23 win.
Set Two was something of a role-reversal, with Johnson going up 19-12 at one point before the Bears rallied. After taking a 22-21 lead on an error by the Evangels, UPIKE was able to secure another 25-23 victory when junior Stephanie Dounseroux went across her body to place the winning kill where no Evangels could get to it.
Set Three saw the Bears close out the Evangels 25-19 thanks to reliable play from the back and an overall lack of errors for the orange and black.
Dounseroux was a standout performer for the Bears, with seven kills and a whopping 63 assists in the win. Hodge and Watkins each had five more kills for the Bears, with sophomore Kaitie Massie contributing four.
Pikeville (4-18) was hosting Mid-South Conference foe Shawnee State on Tuesday evening.