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Gonzalez Medina Records 1,000th Career Dig as Volleyball Stuns WLU in Home Win

October 7th, 2023 by WCBC Radio

 Frostburg State Volleyball team became the first side to defeat West Liberty in MEC play in their 3-1 victory on Friday evening.
In the first athletic event of Homecoming weekend, the Hilltoppers looked to spoil the festivities as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first set. FSU battled back to get within one, but the scoring rallies favored the visitors, who went on a 13-3 run to take a commanding 18-7 lead. The Bobcats got late kills from junior AJ Thompson and seniors McKaily Thomson-Moran and Beverly Braun, but West Liberty had already done the hard work in winning the set 25-15.
Frostburg completely flipped the script in the second set, racing ahead 8-2 on the back of kills from Braun, Thompson, and freshman Paige Mock. WLU got some of their offense going, but couldn't keep up with the Bobcats, as Braun, Mock, Thompson, and sophomore Amanda Knieper combined for six scores in a 9-3 run that was punctuated by an ace from senior Katie Keech. A trio of Hilltopper points prompted Thompson to take over the match, recording a kill and a pair of aces to grow the lead to 22-11. Braun added a pair of kills and Thomson-Moran found the floor herself in a commanding 25-13 set win.
West Liberty rebounded to start the third set, using a quick start to take a 6-2 lead. FSU hit back with a massive Thomson-Moran block and kill, with Keech and Braun adding scores to tie the set at six. The sides went back-and-forth, each trying to take momentum from the other up to a narrow 13-12 Bobcat advantage. WLU saw their time to strike, sparking a 7-2 run that gave them a 19-15 lead seemingly on their way to taking the set. Frostburg wouldn't have it in front of the home crowd, as Thomson-Moran combined with Mock on a block, with the pair of them also recording kills and Braun serving up an ace to get within one. As the Hilltoppers clung to a 21-19 lead, four of their errors, along with a Thompson kill and block with senior Hayley Delor gave FSU the final six points to steal the set 25-21.
Set four quickly turned into a back-and-forth affair, as the Bobcats looked to close the match out while West Liberty tried to stay alive and force a fifth set. The first two points went the way of Frostburg, then WLU responded with five points in a row to gain a 5-2 advantage. FSU surged ahead with a 7-1 run, with Braun getting back-to-back kills to kick things off, followed by kills from Thomson-Moran and Keech and a Delor ace to go up 9-6. The Hilltoppers struck back with another five in a row, as no team led by more than two up to 17-17. Playing to force a final set, West Liberty put down three in a row to take the late lead, prompting a Bobcat timeout. Substitute Gabriella Jones provided the spark that Frostburg needed, aiding on a pair of blocks with both Braun and Mock, as the two also each recorded a kill to take a dramatic 22-21 lead. After an FSU error gave WLU a point to tie the match, Knieper and Thompson came up with back-to-back scores, putting the contest at two match points and forcing West Liberty into their final timeout. A frantic rally resulted in the visitors getting the desperate score they needed, but Mock called game with a kill off a Delor assist to take the match 25-23.
Braun led all scorers with 15 kills, while also putting up an ace, three blocks, and 17 digs in an all-round effort. Mock and Thompson were forces at the net, combining for half of Frostburg's 11 total blocks, the team's most in a match in almost a full year. Junior Fiona Gonzalez Medina made personal history, recording her 1,000th career dig with 17 on the night, while Keech added 12 to join her in double-figures for the match.
With the win, FSU improves to 9-9 on the year, while West Liberty falls to 14-5. The Bobcats are back on the road to face Fairmont State on Tuesday, October 10 for a 7 p.m. match. Information and updates will be posted to