Oakland Captures Cleveland State Tournament Title with 5-Set Victory Over CSU
Alli Kirk was named the Tournament's MVP finishing with a 6.55 digs per set average
CLEVELAND - Alli Kirk finished with 33 digs and Meghan Bray earned 20 kills and 16 digs as the Oakland volleyball team (6-4) won the Cleveland State Tournament with a five-set victory over Cleveland State Saturday night at Woodling Gymnasium. It marks the first time in program history that Oakland has won two preseason tournaments in the same season.
"This was a tremendous win for our program," said head coach Rob Beam. "Cleveland State is an extremely good team and we had to compete at a championship level for two and a half hours. I am extremely proud of this team to win two preseason tournaments for the first time in program history."
Kirk was named the Tournament MVP as she finished the weekend with 72 digs and a 6.55 digs per set average. Brittany Holbrook finished the match with 17 kills and four blocks and was named to the All-Tournament team along with Bray. Taylor Humm earned 15 kills and 21 digs while Ciara Schultz led the team with 37 assists.
"Individually, Meghan (Bray), Brittany (Holbrook) and Alli (Kirk) were deserving of the All-Tournament Team honors," added Beam. "Alli's individual excellence and great numbers made her deserving of the MVP recognition."
In the deciding set, Oakland dominated early jumping out to a 10-2 lead as the team combined for eight kills. CSU battled to close the lead to five points, but OU held on and earned a 15-9 set win to take the match and win the tournament.
To open the match, Oakland lost the opening point but never trailed for the rest of the set as Bray finished with five kills and Humm added four of her own to win 25-23. The second set was controlled by Cleveland State as they combined for 20 kills and a .447 hitting percentage for the 25-18 set win to tie the match.
Oakland took a 12-7 lead in the third set but the Vikings battled back as the teams tied on three different occasions late in the set. With the score 22-22, Holbrook got two kills including the set winner to take a 2-1 lead in the match with a 25-23 win. In the fourth set, Oakland won seven out of the first ten points but was not able to hold on as the teams battled for momentum with 14 ties in the set. CSU would eventually score five out of the last eight points to win 25-23 and send the match to a fifth and deciding set.
Oakland will be home next week as they host Eastern Michigan on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and then open Summit League play with Fort Wayne on Friday at 7 p.m. and Western Illinois on Monday at 7 p.m. inside the Athletics Center O'rena.