The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

September 13, 2013

Easton Valley swept at home

MILES — During the first 20 points of each set, Easton Valley played Maquoketa Valley close. But the River Hawks couldn’t quite get over the hump, falling to the Wildcats in three, 25-9, 26-24, 25-16, in Tri Rivers Conference volleyball Thursday.

“The hardest thing for us has been to stay positive,” EV coach Denise Larson said. “At times, it’s hard to see a way out. ... We’re still trying to find the right combination of players, but tonight I felt we were much more aggressive than on other nights.”

In the opener, the Wildcats turned an 11-8 lead into a 22-8 lead behind the serving of junior middle Heather Sabers and aided by a string of Hawks errors. EV miscues led to 16 MV points.

Once the River Hawks controlled the ball, they played the Wildcats in a much tighter Set 2. In the back row, senior libero Gabriela Vasconcelos turned would-be kills into EV digs, including a diving save near the endline wall at 11-7 that kept a lengthy rally alive. Meanwhile, outside Lizzie Meier provided the offense, scoring two of her team’s first four points on kills. Later, with Easton Valley leading 16-13, Meier strung together two straight aces as part of a four-point Hawks rally. Kallie Miller followed with a run of her own, giving EV a 22-14 advantage.

Then the game started to unravel. “Timid” summed up the conclusion of Set 2 for Larson.

“During the second set, I thought we focused really well,” she said. “We got timid and they stayed aggressive.”

The Wildcats stormed back on an 8-1 run making it 23-22 Easton Valley. Hawks right-side hitter Brook Smithson delivered on a hard block on the outside, giving her team match point. Larson said she believed her team was about to even the match at one set apiece.

Maquoketa responded with an offensive revival. Nicole Kudrna staved off set point with a kill on the outside, Brooke Wooten followed with an ace and then Macy Anderegg delivered on two straight kills, giving the Wildcats the 26-24 victory.

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