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VU Volleyball finishes opening weekend with win over Rend Lake; Persico, Burgess lead Trailblazers to straight-sets victory

The Vincennes University Volleyball Team bounced back from losses in its first two matches and picked up its first win of the season Saturday in the closing match of the Blazer Classic at the Vincennes University P.E. Complex.

The Trailblazers (1-2) topped Rend Lake Saturday in straight sets (26-24, 25-21, 25-23) Saturday as freshman outside hitter Lindsay Persico recorded 18 kills and sophomore outside hitter Juma Armando finished with nine. Sophomore Brianna Burgess contributed six kills while racking up 23 assists at the setter’s position against Rend Lake.

In VU’s earlier matches, the Trailblazers fell 3-1 to Lake Land (25-27, 19-25, 26-24, 18-25) on Friday and 3-0 (8-25, 8-25, 20-25) to Mineral Area on Saturday morning.

Against Lake Land, VU got out to a lead early and held it throughout most of the first set. When freshman middle hitter Jordan Sprinkle and sophomore defensive specialist Lauren Comer combined on a block to put the Trailblazers in front 12-5 in the first set, the Lakers called timeout. VU continued to stand strong after the break as Sprinkle and Persico teamed up for a combo block to make it 15-6 and Burgess paired with freshman middle hitter Kassidie Hayes to keep the Trailblazers in front, 17-11. By the time VU had ended a late Lake Land run, the Lakers had closed to within 24-20, but Lake Land outscored the Trailblazers 7-1 the rest of the way to come from behind and claim the opener.

In the second set of Friday’s match, Lake Land scored first and stayed in front the entire way for the six-point win and a 2-0 advantage. The third set was close early and things were tied at 11-all. The Trailblazers were then outscored 13-10 to place Lake Land at set point, 24-21, before VU made it exciting with three unanswered points to knot it up again at 24-all. The Trailblazers then returned the favor from the first set and scored two unanswered points to win the third set by a 26-24 verdict.

The fourth set saw Lake Land jump out to a 10-3 advantage before a 5-2 run by the Trailblazers cut the lead to four at 12-8. Lake Land then held even with VU for the win to take the match.

On Saturday morning, VU couldn’t get anything going against Mineral Area. The Cardinals opened up a 13-5 lead on the Trailblazers and prompted a VU timeout. From there, Mineral Area outscored the Trailblazers 12-3 in the first set win. Lake Land’s second set win was by an identical 25-8 score and VU trailed throughout the third set as well.

Overall in the three matches, Persico had 36 kills, Armando 25, Burgess 15 and Sprinkle 13 kills. Sprinkle also had two blocks while Persico and Hayes both had five block assists each.

Burgess totaled 57 assists and freshman Lauren Charlton contributed 34.

(**For a complete look at the Trailblazers’ early-season statistics, visit:
http://www.njcaa.org/sports/wvball/2015-16/div2/teams/vincennesuniversity?view=lineup)

The Trailblazers will head to Sinclair in Dayton, OH, Thursday and then play in a tournament on Friday and Saturday at Owens in Toledo, OH.

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