The West Virginia University volleyball team (2-0) began the season at the Penn State Classic in University Park, Pennsylvania, on Friday, Aug. 26, with a doubleheader. The squad opened the tournament with 3-2 victory over Loyola (1-1) and followed with a sweep of Duquesne (0-2) in its second match.

During the opening match, WVU started the season strong taking the first set by a score of 25-19. The Mountaineers finished out the win by taking sets four and five by scores of 28-26 and 15-8, respectively.

Following the victory against Loyola, West Virginia competed against Duquesne, getting off to a quick start and never looking back to secure its second win of the day.

“In the first match, I thought we were lucky to win,” coach Reed Sunahara said. “I thought it was a great learning and growing moment for our young team. In the second match, I thought we were a lot more consistent.”

Fifth-year senior outside hitter Adrian Ell led the Mountaineers against the Greyhounds with 18 kills and 21.5 points. Ell also earned ten digs. She was followed by freshman outside hitter Bailey Miller, who recorded 12 kills, 16 digs and 13.5 points. Both Ell and Miller registered a double-double to start the season.

Redshirt freshman setter Kamiah Gibson racked up 44 assists in the season opener, while  
freshman defensive specialist/ libero Jordyn Schilling led the match with 18 digs.

With two services aces each, junior outside hitter/defensive specialist Skye Stokes and Ell led the Mountaineers, while freshmen middle blockers Tierney Jackson and Melanie McGann tallied six blocks each, good to lead the match.

Additionally, West Virginia recorded 13 blocks and 64 digs in the victory. WVU now leads the series against Loyola, 3-1.

In the final match of the day, West Virginia struck first in its match against Duquesne via an Adrian Ell kill and got off to an early, 6-2 lead in match two before taking the first set, 25-12.

Ell led the Mountaineers in kills and points for the second time on the day, with 13 and 15.5, respectively. Miller continued her good form as well, tallying ten kills, nine digs and 14 points, which was good for a total of 22 kills, 25 digs and 27.5 points on the day.

Miller served up the most aces in the match with four. Gibson led the match with 32 assists, while Schilling recorded 14 digs, good for best in the contest. Ell and McGann tallied four blocks each to lead the team.

West Virginia stayed hot coming out of the first set and led Duquesne, 18-7, in the second set. The Dukes then clawed back to make it 22-19 before a kill from Miller ended the set at 25-21 in favor of the Mountaineers.

WVU never lost sight of the sweep, as Ell lifted the Mountaineers to an early lead in set three. West Virginia went on to win the third set 25-16, never trailing in the final two sets.

Additionally, the team notched 45 kills and a .248 hitting percentage in the second match of the day. Friday’s victory improves West Virginia to 29-19 all-time against Duquesne.

The squad closes out the tournament with a match against the host No. 20 Penn State on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m. ET, at Rec Hall. Live streams and live stats for the matches can be found on WVUSports.com.

For more information on the Mountaineers, visit WVUsports.com and follow WVUVolleyball on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.