CLINTON — There’s nothing like early aces to get your team momentum and put the opponent in a bad frame of mind.
Easton Valley senior Lizzie Meier delivered the early message Tuesday, and the River Hawks went on to sweep Prince of Peace in a first-round match of the Class 1A Region 7 volleyball postseason tournament. Easton Valley won 25-12, 25-11, 25-16 to advance to next Tuesday’s quarterfinals, where it will play at Marquette Catholic.
“Tonight was one of our best performances,” said Meier, who led Easton Valley with nine kills and five aces. “We really got off on a good start. We can only go up from here.”
Meier played a key role in the strong start.
“That was really important,” she said of the early lead. “We usually get off to a slow start. Once we got ahead, we picked up the momentum and took off from there.”
Meier recorded a kill on an overpass to tie the first game at 4-4, then stepped to the service line and delivered four consecutive aces to give the River Hawks a lead they never lost.
“It really picks up people when you pick up a couple of aces,” Easton Valley coach Denise Larson said. “It’s definitely a confidence builder for a team when you jump up several points. It lets everybody relax. We tend to play tight, so I think that was a great way to help the team relax.”
It also demoralizes the opponent, especially a young team that has been forced to switch players into new positions, as is the case with Prince of Peace.
“It’s hard for us with a lot of injuries the last weeks, the last one our libero (Hunter Chapman) on Sunday,” Prince of Peace coach Lisa Gogel said. “She’s our top serve-receiver and makes every pass. (Losing her) puts kids in uncomfortable spots.”