(NORTH CANTON, Ohio) – Walsh picked up an important G-MAC East Division win over rival Malone in three sets at the Cechinni Center on Thursday evening. The Cavaliers (16-9, 9-4) not only snapped a five-match losing streak, but swept the Pioneers (14-10, 8-5) and moved into sole position of second place in the division.
The top three teams in each division earn a conference tournament bid with the next two best teams earning at-large spots. Walsh has five matches left in the regular season with the next three at home. All five are against divisional foes.
Walsh jumped out of the gate and took a quick 10-3 lead over Malone after a kill by Gina Kramer. Kramer had three of the last four points in that rally and finished with a match-best 12 kills on the evening. She was the only player to reach double-digits in kills on the night.
Malone cut the deficit to three on a couple of occasions, but could get no closer as Walsh eventually took the first 25-19.
The second set was won by an identical score, but the Maroon and Gold had to work harder to get it. This time Malone took an early advantage in the first few points, but Walsh eventually tied the game on a Malone service error and promptly took the lead on a kill by Justine Coffman. Walsh never trailed the rest of the game.
The Cavs appeared to be cruising to a third set win after going up 6-2, but Malone was able to rebound after a timeout and evened the score on a Sydney Black ace at 6-6. The two teams exchanged leads multiple times the rest of the way with Walsh finally taking the last advantage on a kill by Paola Ferrario that made the score 21-20.
Olivia Zanolli once again set up the Cavs attack with 33 assists. Defensively Walsh had three players with double-digit digs. Erica Schiets led the team with 12. Amanda Adoranti and Hallie Schroeder both added 11.
Walsh is off for the weekend and will resume competition a week from tonight against Ohio Valley at 7 p.m.