Volleyball Falls to Cincinnati, 3-0, in First Match of Penn State Invitational

Sept. 20, 2003

PROVIDENCE, RI - The Brown volleyball team (0-2) dropped its first match of the Penn State Invitational, falling 3-0 (17-30, 26-30, 24-30) to 2002 NCAA participant Cincinnati.

The Bears went toe to toe with Cincinnati for the first half of Game 1, allowing the opposition to make the mistakes, while building an early 7-3 lead. However, the Bearscats drew even and pulled away with a strong offensive performance, hitting .351 for the game, a 30-17 win.

The second game began with the two teams swapping points back and forth once more. Cincinnati was able to build a four-point lead at one stage, going up 14-10, but Brown clawed back to tie the score at 16-16. Again, it was a tight affair up through 22-22. However, the Bearcats scored the next three points to go up 25-22. While the Bears made another run, they were never quite able to close the gap, and ended up falling 30-26.

Cincinnati came out a bit stronger in Game 3, and took an 8-4 advantage. However, sophomore Karalyn Kuchenbecker (Los Angeles, CA/Harvard Westlake) lead a strong Brown charge from the service line, getting four straight points to put the team up 10-9, which would be the last Brown lead of the night, as Cincinnati eventually started pulling away. The Bears fought hard, restricting their opposition to just .111 hitting, but fell to the Bearcats 30-24.

Kuchenbecker led the Bears with a double-double (10 kills, 10 digs), while freshman Rikki Baldwin (Magnolia, TX/Magnolia) posted nine kills in her first collegiate match. Senior Kim Highlund (Newark, CA/Notre Dame) added 10 digs, while junior Elvina Kung (Dix Hills, NY/Half Hollow Hills West) posted nine digs. Sophomore setter Leigh Martin (Freelton, ONT/Parkside) tallied 30 assists.

The Bears will be back in action on Saturday morning when they face host Penn State, ranked #11 in the country, at 10:00 a.m., before closing competition at the Invitational against Robert Morris at 4:00 p.m.