Grace Kauth’s 1000th Dig Leads Cleveland State to Cherry & White Title

  0 Braden Keith | September 11th, 2016 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News

Match Stats

Press Releases

Courtesy Rutgers Athletics:

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (August 8, 2016) – The Rutgers (4-6) volleyball team stumbled on day two of Hilton Penn’s Landing Cherry & White Challenge, suffering straight set losses to Cleveland State (7-2) and Temple (4-3).

Senior right side Lauren Cloyd earned all-tournament honors after leading the team with a .310 hitting percentage and a total of 34 kills across three matches. The senior averaged 3.40 kills per set on the weekend.

Despite a close margin in the second set, Rutgers fell in three sets to Cleveland State by scores of 25-19, 25-22 and 25-18.

Cloyd led the squad with a .700 hitting percentage, racking up 14 kills on 20 attempts and no errors. Fifth-year senior Mikaela Matthews posted a match-high seven blocks in the contest.

Cleveland State was led by Grace Kauth with 12 kills followed by Sara Skeens with 11 of her own. Gina Kilner contributed 35 assists in the win.

Although the score remained balanced at 7-7 to start set one, Cleveland State broke away to  a 18-12 edge en route to a win in the first. Moving into set two, Rutgers opened the frame with a 9-6 lead. However, CSU regained its momentum from the set before, tying the score up four times before reclaiming the lead at 16-15. After the Vikings grew their lead to 22-20, RU rattled off three consecutive points capped by a block by junior Meme Fletcher and sophomore Tiaja McKnight to give the Scarlet Knights a chance with the count matched at 22-22. However, CSU was able to hold off RU for a 2-0 advantage in the match.

The teams continued to trade points into the third set as Rutgers kept the score balanced, 8-8. From there, Cleveland State separated the margin to a 16-10 lead. The Scarlet Knights cut their deficit to as little as three on two occasions, but it is as close as they would come for the remainder of the match.

Rutgers dropped its second match of the day to Temple in three sets by scores of 25-13, 25-14 and 25-18.

Matthews led RU with five kills and six blocks, while Cole Trimble, Fletcher, Cloyd also posted five kills each.

Temple was paced by Irem Asci with 11 kills, while Kyra Coundourides added in 30 assists.

Despite falling behind early in set one, the Scarlet Knights kept it a two-point deficit at 6-4. The Owls then jumped to an 11-4 lead, claiming control of the stanza the rest of the way. Temple never let up to take a 25-13 win in the first.

After TU carried its momentum into the second stanza on its way to a 2-0 lead in the match, Rutgers discovered a rhythm in the third frame. Although trailing in the count, the Scarlet Knights kept the margin as little as one as back-to-back blocks for the duo of Trimble and Matthews set the score at 6-5. The teams continued to trade points as the Owls kept an edge. RU picked away at the TU lead, holding the count at 17-15. However, the Scarlet Knights were unable to stay alive in the match, falling 25-18 in the final set.

The Scarlet Knights open their home slate by hosting the Rutgers Invitational from Sept. 15-17. RU will welcome Princeton, Seattle and Seton Hall to the College Ave Gym for its final nonconference tournament of the season.


  • Rutgers competed against two of 11 NCAA qualifiers that it’s set to cross paths with this season in New Hampshire and Cleveland State.
  • Lauren Cloyd was named the all-tournament team after leading RU in kills on the weekend with 3.40 kills per set and a total of 34 kills.
  • Mikaela Matthews led RU  with 1.60 blocks per set on the weekend, including a total of 16 blocks.

Follow Rutgers Volleyball on Twitter and Instagram (@RUvball) for all of the latest news and updates. The team is also on Facebook ( For all Rutgers Athletics news follow us on Twitter(@RUAthletics), Instagram (@RUAthletics), Snapchat (@RUAthletics) and Facebook (

Courtesy Cleveland State Athletics:

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – For the third straight weekend the Cleveland State volleyball team has won its opening match, as the Vikings picked up a thrilling five-set win over Temple Friday evening. With the win, the Vikings are now 5-2 on the season.


Match Stats
· Grace Kauth paced the Viking offense with 23 kills against Temple, while Alexis Middlebrooks added 12 kills.
· Sara Skeens and Sydney Mast both added eight kills for the Vikings.
· Gina Kilner recorded 50 assists on the match, along with five kills and five digs.
· Shannon Grega led the Viking defense posting 14 digs, while Grace Kauth tallied 11 digs.
· Aaliyah Slappy tallied a team-best four blocks, while Alexis Middlebrooks, Grace Kauth and Sydney Mast all added three blocks.

Match Notes
· Cleveland State now owns a 2-0 record in five-set matches this season.
· Grace Kauth eclipsed the 20-kill mark for the second time this season (22 vs. Tennessee).
· Head coach Chuck Voss is now just four wins shy of reaching the 300-win milestone at Cleveland State.
· With her 11 digs, Grace Kauth now has 999 on her career, just one dig shy of becoming the 17th Viking all-time to record 1,000 career digs.
· Alexis Middlebrooks eclipsed the 250-block mark for her career Friday evening, ending the match with 252 total blocks.

The Match
After dropping the first set, Cleveland State was able to bounce back and even the match at 1-1 by picking up a 25-22 victory during the second frame. The two teams were evenly matched throughout the second set, as both teams traded points throughout the frame until Cleveland State was able to gain a 20-18 lead following a Grace Kauth and Aaliyah Slappy block. From this point on, the Vikings were able to control the set, closing out the frame with an Alexis Middlebrooks kill and Temple error.

The Vikings were then able to gain a 2-1 advantage in the contest with a matching 25-22 victory during the third set – which turned out to be another tightly contested frame. Once again the two teams traded points throughout the first part of the set, as the frame included 13 tie scores and six lead changes. Following suit from the second frame, the Vikings distanced themselves at the 20-18 mark with a block from Middlebrooks and Gina Kilner, and went on to hold the lead for the remainder of the set. Cleveland State closed out the frame by posting the final two points of the set, earning the victory on a Sydney Mast kill and another Temple error.

Although Temple was able to even the contest at 2-2 with a victory in the fourth set, Cleveland State came out swinging during the fifth and deciding frame, gaining a 10-5 advantage and never looking back. The Vikings gained the five-point lead on a Sara Skeenskill, and went on to earn five of the final eight points in the match. Cleveland State’s match-winner came from Kauth, as she tallied her 23rd kill of the contest to clinch the victory for the Vikings.

Up Next
· Cleveland State will face Rutgers (12:30 p.m.) and New Hampshire (4:00 p.m.) on day two of the Cherry & White Challenge tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 10).

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Cleveland State volleyball team captured its second tournament title of the season Saturday afternoon, as the Vikings picked up wins over Rutgers (3-0) and New Hampshire (3-1) to capture the Cherry & White Challenge title. The Vikings, who now stand at 7-2 this season, earned a victory over host Temple last night to post a perfect 3-0 record on the weekend.

All-Tournament Team
Grace Kauth was named the Cherry & White Challenge MVP, while Gina Kilnerand Aaliyah Slappy both earned All-Tournament Team honors.

Kauth led the Vikings with 51 total kills this weekend and 31 total digs, posting double-doubles against Temple (23 kills and 11 digs) and New Hampshire (16 kills and 16 digs).

Kilner led the Viking offense on the weekend, posting 134 total assists, helping Cleveland State post 171 total kills on a .280 hitting percentage. Kilner also added 18 kills, 23 digs and six blocks.

Slappy finished the weekend with 20 kills and a team-best 15 total blocks – including an eight-block match against New Hampshire.



Match Stats
· Grace Kauth and Sara Skeens led the Viking offense, Kauth with a team-best 12 kills and Skeens with 11 kills.
· Shannon Grega had a team-high nine digs, while Gina Kilner added six.
· Aaliyah Slappy and Sara Skeens both recorded three blocks on the match, withAlexis Middlebrooks adding two blocks.

Match Notes
· With four digs against Rutgers, Grace Kauth eclipsed the 1,000-dig mark for her career, becoming the 17th Viking all-time to reach the milestone.
· Aaliyah Slappy recorded her 250th career block in the match, finishing the contest right on the number.
· With the win, head coach Chuck Voss now has 297 career wins, just three wins shy of recording his 300th win at Cleveland State.
· The Vikings are now 2-1 against teams from ‘Power Five’ conferences this season and 5-1 over the past two years.



Match Stats
· A trio of Vikings finished the match with double-digit kills, Grace Kauth notching 16, Alexis Middlebrooks posting 11 and Aaliyah Slappy recording 10 kills.
· Gina Kilner tallied 49 assists on the match, helping Cleveland State post a .265 hitting percentage.
· Grace Kauth led the Vikings with 16 digs, while Gina Kilner and Jordan Verbiakboth posted 12 digs.
· Aaliyah Slappy posted a team-best eight blocks, while Alexis Middlebrooksadded four and Gina Kilner notched three.
· As a team, Cleveland State recorded 14.0 total blocks.
· Freshman Trinniti Hall finished the match with four kills and two blocks, while classmate Sara Skeens posted seven kills and two blocks.

Match Notes
· With her 16-kill performance against UNH, Grace Kauth cracked the top-10 kills list in the CSU Career Record book, as she finished the match ranked 10th with 1,177 career kills.
· Head coach Chuck Voss finished the match with 298 career victories at Cleveland State, needing just two more wins to reach the 300-win milestone.
· For the second time this season, Gina Kilner was just shy of recording a triple-double, finishing the match with nine kills, 48 assists and 12 digs.
· Freshman Jordan Verbiak notched her second double-digit dig match of the season with 12 digs against UNH.

Cleveland State will close out the non-league portion of its schedule next weekend, taking part in the Hoosier Classic. The Vikings will face IUPUI, Arkansas State and host Indiana.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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