“We had some inconsistencies, but there’s no excuse. We’re more talented than what we showed tonight,” she said.
With the Cardinals finding their way, Goodman went on a serving tear early in the opener, turning a 4-4 tie into a 9-4 lead. Later in the set, she rattled off four kills during a five-point Fillies run that brought it to 18-11. Morrison eventually pushed its lead to 24-14 before Erie’s Savannah Mettler sided out with a kill.
With Cobert sidelined, her sister, Courtney — the team’s season-long libero — played middle. That opened the door for sophomore RaeAnna Stover to shine at libero, and she did so with tough late serving in Set 1. She led all players with four aces.
“She had a nice game,” Murphy said. “This was only her second game playing libero. She’s only a sophomore. I thought Rea really stepped up tonight.”
Stover’s serves were enough to take Morrison out of system for a five-point rally. It wasn’t enough to take Set 1, but the run appeared to build momentum heading into Set 2. Erie built leads of 9-6,14-7 and 21-13 that included another five-point service run by Stover. With better passes from the back row, Cardinals setter Brooke Naftzger began running a middle-focused offense featuring several big slams by Delaney Tegeler and Courtney Cobert.
“We adjusted our defense and tried to pick up their attacks,” Morrison coach Jennifer Medenblik said. “We tried to adjust our back to pick up tips. The girls did it.
“They did what I asked for. I told the girls that was a nice way to start the rest of our season because we kind of had a disappointing start.”
Both teams had a share of miscues in their losing sets. By Set 3, it was clear neither team was going to give points away.