Columbus, Ohio – A total of seven freshmen made their collegiate debut on Wednesday against the nationally ranked Owens Express in the Delaware Hall Athletic Center. Although the team put up an impressive and balanced attack, they fell short with a three-set loss.
Despite the defeat, Coach Jill Yocum was pleased how the ladies performed. "I was happy with the determination I saw on the floor and their ability to find ways to score, considering it was nearly everyone's first college match."
Allyse Rutter recorded a double-double on 15 assists and eleven digs to go along with seven blocks and three kills. Morgan Danec led the Cougar offense with a team-high eleven kills, followed by Kaitlyn Ahrns who buried eight. Leah Conway totaled six kills while sophomore Hannah Wallace added five. Rachel Ralston and Haley Litman rounded out the effort with two kills and one kill respectively.
For the defense, Litman lit up the back row with a team-high nine digs while Vicki Osborne finished close behind with eight. Osborne also dished out eight assists. Ahrns added six digs while sophomores Katlyn Ray and Rafaella Gioffre chipped in three and two respectively.
As a team, Columbus State outblocked (30-15) the Express; however, Owens managed to hold the Cougars to a .133 attack percentage while striking at a rate of .300. The solid defense at the net was largely contributed by Wallace with a career-high 11 blocks, followed by Danec who matched Rutter with seven, and Ahrns, who had three.
The final set scores were 13-25, 21-25, 16-25.
On Fri, Sep. 2, the Cougars will compete in the Owens Tournament with four matches scheduled over two days.