The crosstown volleyball rivals battled from the opening serve to the final kill Saturday.
The Dayton Flyers fought from behind for a 3-2 win (22-25, 25-14, 23-25, 25-21, 15-6) over Wright State in a matinee match of the Flyer-Raider Invitational at WSU’s Nutter Center.
“I don’t like how we played, but it could have been a whole lot worse,” Dayton coach Tim Horsmon said. “We have great moments and flashes of brilliance, but we are very inconsistent.”
The Raiders came out swinging, taking the opening set 25-22.
“We talked about wanting to come out and shock them a little bit,” Wright State coach Susan Clements said. “We wanted to jump on them early, not have to come from behind.”
But the second set was all Flyers as Dayton took a 4-3 lead early and never trailed. It was even at one set apiece.
They kept it close in the third and fourth sets with each squad taking a win, forcing the fifth set.
A kill by Flyers junior outside hitter Alaina Turner capped a 6-1 Dayton run in the final set, but the Raiders weren’t deterred, cutting the visitors’ lead to two, 6-4. But the Flyers’ balanced attack, with Turner, Angel Agu and Jill Loiars all posting points, proved too much for the Raiders as Dayton took the final set 15-6.
Turner led all Flyers with 19 kills and a career high-tying 15 digs. Wright State freshman outside hitter Katie Klusman led the Raiders with 17 kills.
“We have some great potential players,” Horsmon said. “I think we can do great things.”
Series stats: It was the 55th meeting between the programs, with the Raiders holding 28-27 advantage. Dayton, however, has won the last four meetings and 10 of the last 11.
“It was a great atmosphere and a great match — absolutely everyone was into it,” Clements said. “In the past, Wright State wasn’t always much competition but we’re working to change that.”
Two teams, one cause: Event t-shirts with both Wright State and Dayton logos on the front read “Block Blood Cancer” on the back. The event, in its third year at Wright State, was started by Clements when she was coaching at Niagara University. Her father, Don, was diagnosed with leukemia in summer 2010 and died just months later.
“I love that the girls are part of something that makes a difference in the community,” she said.
The event raised $1,020 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Southwest Ohio.