PAINESVILLE, OHIO -- The night got off to a great start for the Lake Erie College volleyball team as the Storm won a thrilling first set from visiting Mercyhurst College, but after that it was all Lakers in a 3-1 decision Tuesday night (Sept. 28) at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic and Wellness Center.
The Storm (3-11) scored the first four points of the match and raced out to a 7-2 lead. The Lakers (12-3) closed the gap to to two early but the Storm kept them at bay for much of the opening set. An ace from freshman Molly Richardson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) gave Lake Erie a 17-13 lead. Mercyhurst against closed the gap and tied the set at 24-24 before two straight kills from sophomore Mary Walter (Solon, Ohio/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin) won the frame and gave the Storm a 1-0 lead.
Richardson and Walter each had four kills in the opening set.
Lake Erie again jumped out early in set two, going up 5-1, but from that pint on Mercyhurst dominated. Trailing 7-3, the Lakers outscored LEC 22-6 the rest of the frame to take it 25-13. The visitors also took the final two sets 25-17 and 25-16, using a 11-3 run in set three and a 10-4 spurt in the final set.
Chelsea Jensen led the Hurst with a match-high 22 kills and added 11 digs on defense. Becky Leusch added 10 kills and Kendall Ashworth had 19 digs for the Lakers, who won for the tenth time in their last 11 matches.
Richardson finished with a career-high 11 kills to lead the Storm. Freshman Jamie Hope (Green Springs, Ohio/Clyde) drilled five aces in the contest. Junior Krista O'Connor (North Roylaton, Ohio/North Royalton) chipped in with 18 assists and sophomore Rachael Ritt (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) led the defensive effort with a career-best 17 digs.
The Storm closes out its five match homestand Thursday night, Sept. 30, with a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tilt against Ashland University at 7 p.m.