CHICAGO — Seattle U volleyball outlasted Chicago State in a grueling affair on Thursday, notching a five-set, 3-2 victory (19-25, 25-22, 19-25, 25-14, 16-14) in Western Athletic Conference play. With the result, the Redhawks clocked their second-straight win and improved to 12-15 overall and 3-10 in conference action.
Eve Kerschenbaum led the Redhawk attack hitting .300 with 18 kills and four aces. Julia Queiroz meanwhile followed with 11 kills and eight blocks. Seattle U finished the match with 50 kills on .135 hitting.
Tijana Milojevic anchored the defense with a team-best 21 digs. Rachel Stark and Ezgi Ozkan followed with 15 digs apiece, while Kailee Kurokawa had 13. Ozkan also finished with a match-best 44 assists as she registered her fourth career double-double.
The Redhawks trailed early to open the first set but forced ties at 6-6 and 12-12. Seattle U however surrendered back-to-back attack errors allowing the Cougars to put together a 3-1 spurt. Trailing 19-15, the Redhawks went on a 3-0 spurt capped by a kill from Lauren McCabe to pull within one. The Redhawks dropped the frame, 25-19, as Chicago State closed the opener on a 6-1 run.
Seattle U had a slow start to the second, falling behind 8-6 early. The Redhawks however recovered as they responded with a 4-0 spurt which included a kill and assisted block rom Amaris Carter, giving SU a 10-8 lead. Kerschenbaum then registered back-to-back tallies sparking a 6-1 run to push the Seattle U advantage to 16-9. With SU leading 18-12, Chicago State cut the margin to one on a 5-0 run before Redhawks tied the frame at 19-all. Kershcenbaum then lifted the Redhawks out front, 23-20, with three kills tying the match with a 25-22 set.
Kills from Queiroz and Carter helped Seattle U open the third set on a 5-1 run. The Cougars then used runs of 4-1 run and 4-0 to battle out to a 10-8 lead. Carter then trimmed the margin to one, 13-12. A bevy of SU attack errors then helped Chicago State piece together a 7-1 run, opening a 20-13 lead. The Redhawks tried to rally late behind a 3-0 spurt but the effort fell short the Cougars took the third, 25-19.
Leading 5-4 in the fourth, Seattle U capitalized on six Cougar attack errors as it extended the margin to 12-4. Ozkan, Kerschenbaum and Sanchez each then added kills midway through to make it 17-8. The Redhawks then used spurts of 3-0 and 4-0 en route to closing the set 25-14 and tying the match at two set apiece.
In the fifth, Seattle U took a 4-1 lead early with a pair of kills from Rachel Stark. Chicago State however battled back to force a 4-4 tie, before notching four-straight to overtake the lead at 8-5. The Redhawks continued to linger late as Queiroz registered a kill and block, narrowing the deficit to 12-11. Down 13-11, Seattle U pulled back within one but then faced the brink as the Cougars added a kill to make it 14-12. Kerschenbaum added a kill late to make it 14-13 before Ozkan kept the Redhawks alive tying the set, 14-14, with an ace. Late attack errors by the Cougars lifted Seattle U to a 16-14 decision and in turn a 3-2 victory.