Aug. 25, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Meghan Bray became the school's all-time career leader in kills with 28 kills on the day as the Oakland volleyball team fell to No. 22 Kansas State in three sets and UC Irvine in three sets in the Varney's Invitational hosted by Kansas State at Ahearn Field House on Saturday.
"I thought our competiveness was at its high point this morning against a great Kansas State team," said head coach Rob Beam. "We fought hard, but didn't execute as cleanly to win the match." Bray passed Adrienne Leone, who finished her career with 1,112 career kills. Bray know stands at 1,118 kills in her three-plus year career at Oakland.
In the first match, OU came out swinging as the Golden Grizzlies stayed tied with the Wildcats 12-12 in the opening set, behind Meghan Bray's 7 kills in the set, but KSU won 13 out of the last 19 points to win the opening set 25-18. In the second set the Wildcats defense turned up as they earned 21 digs in the set and allowed only 11 OU kills to win the set 25-13. KSU finished the match with a 25-19 win as the Golden Grizzlies were held to only nine kill sin the match.
"This evening we started very slowly," added Beam. " I felt that the greatest positive was that a number of freshman stepped up at key times." In the night cap, Alli Kirk had 20 digs, while Ciara Shultz and Alissa Valentine combined for 28 assists as Oakland fell in three sets to UC Irvine with set scores of 17-25, 22-25 and 25-27.
In the first set, the Anteaters earned 16 kills and forced OU to only a .200 hitting percentage to win 25-17. In the second set, Alli Kirk had nine digs, but it was not enough as Aly Squires posted seven out of her 20 kills in the match and UCI won 25-22. The Golden Grizzlies fought hard in the third set as they tied the match at 25-25 with two kills by Ciara Schultz, but Oakland eventually fell 27-25 in the final set.
"Overall this was not the results we had hoped for," said Beam. "But it may be the tournament and competition that helps us elevate our training and preparation for The Summit League."
Oakland volleyball will be in action next weekend as they host the Golden Grizzly Invitational at the Athletics Center O'rena on Aug. 31-Sept. 1.