Donaldson Gets 100th Win As Rio Sweeps Weekend

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Rio Grande RedStorm (12-15, 6-11) head coach Billina Donaldson got her 100th win at Rio Grande in the first of back-to-back Mid-South Conference home game victories.

Friday night was Senior Night for the RedStorm in which they honored their lone senior Nicole Ogg and junior Jocelyn George before a match against the University of the Cumberlands Patriots.

The Patriots tried to ruin the festivities early on in the match when they took a 5-1 lead in the first game. However the RedStorm took 12 of the next 17 points to jump out to 13-10 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the set. Rio Grande took the first game 25-20.

Sets two and three were dominated by the RedStorm. Rio trailed just once, 5-4 in the second, in what were the final two games of the match. The RedStorm won the second set 25-23 and sealed Donaldson’s 100th win with a 25-15 in the third.

Autumn Snider led the RedStorm with 11 kills and Kayla Briley added a match-high 33 assists. Chandler Brown and Nicole Ogg led the RedStorm defense with 19 and 17 digs, respectively.

Saturday’s match against the Cumberland Bulldogs was much closer.

The teams split the first two sets of the match with the RedStorm taking the first, 25-21, and the Bulldogs taking the second, 25-20.

In the third, the two teams played to an early 6-6 tie, but the RedStorm rallied off seven straight points to take a 13-6 lead. The run helped propel Rio Grande to a 25-18 victory in the third set.

The RedStorm seemed to be cruising in the fourth game when it held a 15-7 lead. The Bulldogs had different ideas, however, when they took 14 of the next 19 points to take a 22-20 lead. The set ended with three-point rallies by each team with the Bulldogs coming out on top by a score of 25-23 to force a fifth set.

The fifth set was dominated by the RedStorm. Betsy Schramm, who led Rio Grande with 16 kills for the match, led the RedStorm with 10 kills in the final game to take the match by a score of 15-8 in the final set.

Kayla Briley had 49 assists for the RedStorm offense and Chandler Brown added 12 digs on defense.

With the two victories, the RedStorm pulled into seventh place in the MSC. The top eight teams qualify for the Mid-South Conference tournament which is scheduled to begin on Nov. 15.

The RedStorm are back in action when they travel to Kentucky State University on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. match.