MORRISON, Ill. — Each time it appeared Morrison or Erie had staked a convincing route to victory, the team on the opposite side of the net had something to say about it.
The Fillies came out with a statement three-set win Thursday, but it took a roller-coaster ride to get there. They led by as many as 10 points over the Cardinals in Set 1 and finished with a 25-19 win. In Set 2, however, Erie battled back with tougher serving and stronger defense to win in even more convincing fashion, 25-16.
In the clincher, the teams played to seven lead changes. The difference, in the end, was the late heroics by Morrison’s big front, which closed out the 25-21 win in front of its home crowd.
“We both know that we need to hit hard. That’s what our main thing is,” Fillies right side Adrienne Banks said. She led the team with two blocks and 13 kills, two coming in the final five points.
“You have to find the other team’s weakness and really hit it,” added middle Lakin Goodman, who had 12 kills — none bigger than her cross-court rip on match point. “Before the match, we told ourselves that we were going to start over, and that’s what we did.”
Erie coach Alicia Murphy said the match was one she’d like to have back.
“We struggled to find our energy and communication,” she said. “Game 1 has been our struggle. We always manage to play better in 2 and 3, and that’s frustrating. But yeah, we were flat in Game 1.”
A big omission to the Cardinals’ lineup was middle hitter Rachel Cobert, who went down with an ankle injury and didn’t dress for Erie. Murphy said she switched her lineup around but didn’t feel that was the reason why her team lost.