MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — West Virginia volleyball is back in the win column after sweeping Chicago State at home, 25-21, 25-22, 25-21.
WVU’s victory snaps a six-game losing streak as the Mountaineers (7-12, 0-6 Big 12) take a one-game pause from their conference schedule. They demonstrated resiliency and consistency in the victory, two things coach Reed Sunahara had expressed a desire to see during the team’s skid.
“It means a lot,” Sunahara said. “They need to experience this and I thought they played well in the first two sets, then we were down in the third and we fought back….They showed a lot of fight and resilience.”
West Virginia earned a wire-to-wire win in set one after senior Adrian Ell gave the team a fast start, logging three kills to score the team’s first three points. Ell finished the contest with six points on six kills and led WVU with 17 assists.
The Cougars played a tight second set, tying the score up at 20 points. The freshman duo of Bailey Miller and Quincey Coyle pulled the Mountaineers away to take the frame, though, helping WVU close a tight set — something it has struggled to do this season.
WVU had to claw itself ahead in the final frame as Chicago State built a six-point lead. The Mountaineers tied the score at 20 points to complete the comeback and sealed the match with a pair of attacking errors by the Cougars.
“I thought towards the end we took care of the ball. We made some plays, our blocking got better,” Sunahara said. “With that being said, I mean, we can transition more and we have more opportunities to score and I thought that’s what they did and we did a good job.”
Miller and Coyle led WVU with 15 and 13 points respectively, while Tierney Jackson followed with 9.5 points. Those numbers from the freshman trio indicate the growth in the youthful Mountaineer squad as its youngest players emerge as some of its biggest contributors.
“I definitely see growth and improvement, and I like where we’re going, it’s just a little slow in the process,” Sunahara said. “I mean, I need to be patient as well but there has to be a sense of urgency for them moving forward.”
Yanlis Feliz led Chicago State with 13.5 points on 13 kills. Jaclyn Inclan recorded 18 assists.
The Mountaineers resume their Big 12 slate on Wednesday when they host Kansas. First serve is set for 5 p.m. ET.