On Erie’s side, Mettler extended several rallies with diving saves and good positioning on back-row defense. The junior finished with a team-leading nine digs, several of them involving full-length sprawls across the court.
“I usually just play front row,” Mettler said. “These last few days, coach has really been practicing with our new rotation. I think we were all ready to play and knew what we had to do. I’d say that the first game we just weren’t prepared for what was coming and we dug ourselves a hole.”
Naftzger continued to rely on her middles, but with Morrison’s defense adjustments, fewer balls were falling. And with better passes coming in system, Fillies setter Liz Green began mixing up her offense.
“We kind of let it go in the second,” said Goodman, one of Green’s five options to get kills in the closer. “We kind of used that feeling of losing to help win the third. We knew we had to turn it around.”
Once again, Stover delivered from the service line, forcing a Morrison timeout at 19-all during her three-point run late in the match. Coming out of the timeout, Stover ripped an ace, giving the Cardinals their latest lead at 20-19.
Stover served the next ball out, giving Brooke Ryan the ball. She answered with an ace, and after a Banks kill and an Erie hitting error, the Fillies never looked back en route to the win.
It was a relatively clean match on both sides. Medenblik said the difference to her was a consistent serving attack for her Fillies. Morrison missed two serves, a major improvement compared to the Fillies losses.
“Huge, huge win,” Medenblik said. “Our serves were pretty consistent. We didn’t miss as many serves. ... Sometimes we tend to miss serves at pretty important times in the game. Tonight they didn’t. They made their serves when they needed to.
“I’m proud of the team. The team did what they had to do.”
MORRISON 25-16-25, ERIE 19-25-21
Kills — Erie (Delaney Tegeler 11, Peyton Rus 9, Savannah Mettler 7), Morrison (Adrienne Banks 13, Lakin Goodman 12); Assists — Erie (Brooke Naftzger 29), Morrison (Liz Green 25, Brooke Ryan 6); Blocks — Erie (Rus 1, Tegeler 1), Morrison (Goodman 2, Brooke Stralow 2); Aces — Erie (RaeAnna Stover 4, Naftzger 3, Courtney Cobert 3), Morrison (Payton Kennedy 1, Ryan 1).