Maddie Palmer and Valerie Gonzalez combined to have 34 of Radford’s 52 kills enroute to a sweep over UNC Asheville on Saturday evening at the Justice Center.
The first set saw eight lead changes and ties altogether. Radford (18-3, 8-2 Big South) took a 15-11 lead in the first set, with a block by Stephanie Neast and Mallory McKnight. UNC Asheville (9-13, 5-6 Big South) made a push and tied the set at 21. Both teams scored two points each that tied the set at 23. Two straight Bulldog attack errors gave Radford the set win with a 1-0 lead in the match.
Radford used a 15-3 run in the middle of the set to rout UNC Asheville in the second, 25-14. The Highlanders had 18 kills and hit .516 in the set alone with only two attack errors. The third set, Radford maintained the high intensity action with 16 kills and a .533 hitting percentage. The team also committed no attack errors in the set.
The Highlanders continued the run of the second set in the third set as well. UNC Asheville took an early 2-1 lead, but Radford came back to tie at five and scored six straight points taking an 11-5 lead. The Bulldogs came back with nine points, but the Highlanders scored 14 and clinched the match with a 25-15, third set victory.
The Highlanders outscored UNC Asheville 50-29 in the final two sets.
Maddie Palmer led all players with 19 kills and totaled nine digs. Valerie Gonzalez tallied 15 kills with 10 digs, for her second straight double-double. Palmer and Gonzalez combined for 34 of Radford’s 52 kills.
As a team, Radford hit .398 – the second highest this season – behind the .414 hit as a team in the last meeting with UNC Asheville.
Haley Kleespies picked up 43 assists, four digs and one kill. A trio of Highlanders had double-digit dig performances as Kaylor Nash led with 11, while Gonzalez and Jordan Coomes had 10.
With 10 digs, Coomes has now tallied back-to-back double-digit dig matches combining for 22 on the weekend.
“It was a good weekend for us overall,” Marci Jenkins said. “We played well at every position. (Valerie) Gonzalez did a really nice job carrying a heavier load than normal. All-in-all two conference road wins are always nice.”
Radford will return home to host Presbyterian on Friday a 7 p.m., and Gardner-Webb on Saturday at 4 p.m.
— RU Athletics