Nov. 15, 2013
ROCHESTER, Mich. - Cassie Pelloni notched an impressive 26 kills and teammate Melissa Deatsch recorded a double-double with 16 kills and 13 digs with three service aces as Oakland (14-14, 8-5 HL) defeated UIC (8-21, 3-10 HL) in five sets. Sets two and five both would go in to extra volleyball in this thrilling match. OU won with set scores of 20-25, 26-24, 22-25, 25-14 and 19-17.
"This was a really exciting match," commented head coach, Rob Beam. "UIC played tremendous volleyball, so lots of credit to their players. I thought it took pretty much everything we had tonight to get the win."
Allia Knight was in double digit kills for Oakland as well with 10 and Taylor Humm was good for 24 digs in the match as a DS. Hitting efficiencies for Oakland were very manic in that OU hit 0 in the first set but .517 in the fourth to average .194 for the match compared to UIC's .163. UIC had three players with double-digit kills on the night, but could not outlast the Golden Grizzlies.
Set one did not go as planned for Oakland as the teams were tied at 7-7 before UIC would take control and cruise to the 25-20 set victory. Oakland aimed to answer back in the second set but the Flames showed much resilience as the set would go in to extra volleyball. OU pulled away in the end, taking the set 26-24.
Set three was controlled in large part by UIC, as the visitors would capitalize on a few untimely Oakland attacking errors. The Flames led 7-3 and kept rolling throughout the set until Oakland began a rally when UIC led 21-16. Deatsch would serve for eight straight points, including a kill and two service aces, to give Oakland the lead at 22-21. UIC was not deterred and earned the final points of the set to win it 25-22.
The match was in favor of the UIC Flames heading in to set four and Oakland came out on a mission and played the most dominating set of the entire match. The Golden Grizzlies got off to an 11-3 lead and did not look back. Pelloni was just beginning to get warmed up in the match as she would record eight kills in the fourth set. OU maintained their commanding lead and took the set 25-14.
The final set of the match certainly gave the fans their money's worth as the set was tied up at each of the points until the scoreboard read 17-17. A kill by Pelloni and a follow-up kill by Deatsch would secure a 19-17 win for Oakland and the 3-2 match victory.