Hiram Rallies Back to Top Wooster in Five Sets

WOOSTER, Ohio – The College of Wooster volleyball team recorded eight of its 13 blocks between sets two and three, but the Fighting Scots couldn't close out visiting Hiram College during a 25-11, 22-25, 25-27, 25-18, 15-10 setback on Saturday afternoon at Timken Gymnasium.

Senior Marija Cyvas pulled Wooster (13-8, 2-3 North Coast Athletic Conference) within one at 11-10 in the first set on a kill. Hiram (15-4, 4-2 NCAC) quickly pulled away with an 11-0 run during which Lindsey Walker led the way with two kills and a block. For the set, Cyvas led Wooster with three kills and a block.

Marija Cyvas, Eleri Miller
Senior Marija Cyvas and Eleri Miller go up for a block against Hiram.

Cyvas' big day continued at the onset of the second set with a kill and block as part of the Wooster's 3-0 opening swing. The Scots stayed ahead of the Terriers until a kill by Kayla Cole pushed Hiram on top at 20-19. Wooster, which had five blocks in the second set, had a big one right after Cole's kill to tie the frame at 20. A double-block by first-year Katie Billetdeaux and senior Ashley Plassard made it set point, and Plassard finished off the set with a kill.

Three straight misfires in the attacking column led to Wooster opening up a two-point lead at 22-20 in the third set. Billetdeaux responded to Jaya Martin's kill to bump Wooster's lead back up to two at 23-21, and senior Mayia Karagianni tapped down a kill to make it set point at 24-23. However, Hiram's Holly Hoffman tied the frame at 24, but that was quickly answered by Cyvas' return kill. Next, Cole tied it up at 26 before junior Anna Medema gave the Scots their third set point of the frame. Then, Wooster's defense was ready for Hoffman's dump attempt, and Plassard's fine touch on a tip gave Wooster a 2-1 lead.

Plassard's back-to-back kills pulled Wooster within four at 17-13 in the fourth frame, a set during which Hiram led wire-to-wire. Wooster was within four again at 18-14 thanks to a dump by sophomore setter Meghan Botsch, and the Scots crept closer as a Cyvas kill made it 19-16. However, a late 5-0 run by Hiram pulled the Terrier to within one point of clinching the set.

Wooster found some momentum late in the fourth set, but the Scots were unable to climb out of an 11-4 hole. Botsch, Cyvas, and Billetdeaux tallied three straight kills to pull the Scots within 11-7, and a double-block by Medema and Plassard again had Wooster within striking distance, but at that point Hiram already was at match point at 14-10.

Cyvas' 12 kills marked Wooster's team high on the afternoon, while Plassard tallied eight blocks. Botsch logged her seventh double-double of the season with 41 assists and 14 digs.

Cole led all players with 20 kills, while Hoffman dished out 60 assists.

Next, Wooster travels to Kenyon (13-7, 3-2 NCAC) for a 7 p.m. match on Thursday, Oct. 18.