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Jays rebound from opening loss PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 12:06 AM


Staff Writer

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DELPHOS — It’s an old maxim in sports that teams improve the most between their first and second games.

St. John’s came off a season-opening loss to Van Wert Monday as they hosted Spencerville Tuesday night at Robert A. Arnzen Gymnasium.

It took four close sets by the Blue Jays grabbed a 25-18, 25-18, 23-25, 25-23 victory.

“We improved a lot between last night and tonight. Even then, we weren’t bad last night for our opener; we played decent ball both nights,” St. John’s coach Carolyn Dammeyer noted. “Tonight, we had a few too many brain farts on our serve-receive and missed a few too many serves but overall, I felt we played very well overall. We’re young, so this will be a learning and growing experience.”

“We played really well tonight and improved a great deal from our previous match. Losing the second set really hurt as we were up 17-15 and then got outscored 10-1 to fall 18-25,” Spencerville coach Josh Early noted. “I was really excited about how we played following. We won a tight third set, giving us our first set of the season. The fourth set was back and forth but missing three serves within the set was our ultimate demise as we fell 23-25. Overall, I am really pleased with how we played. We played as a team and fought through adversity. Coming out and playing at a high level after a loss says a lot about our team. Katie Merriman hit the ball well for us tonight and did an excellent job playing the net. Schylar Miller had a strong setting performance and Maddy Hollar had a good passing performance at the libero position.”

All four sets took the same pattern: neither team could really get control and run away with it.

The largest lead by either team was seven — which the Jays (1-1) held three times.

Two of them came in the opening set as the overall youthful Jays had the closing spurt, getting a hitting error on set point to go up 1-0.

The second set was a carbon copy of the first, those it was even closer most of the way. Freshman Jessica Geise (9 kills, 6 blocks, 15 digs) and senior Alicia Buettner (9 kills, 4 blocks) led the effort in the second set, while the Bearcats had juniors Katie Merriman (7 kills, 4 aces, 3 blocks) and Amanda Crider pacing the way for their attack. A hitting error put the Lady Bearcats up 17-15 but sophomore Hayley Jettinghoff helped the Jays retaliate — as well as several miscues by the visitors, including a hitting error on set point to put the hosts up 2 sets to none.

Four straight aces by junior Schylar Miller got the Black Attack off to a solid start in the third set and they never trailed, though there were three ties, the last at 21-21. At times, both teams struggled with consistency; at other times, they played solid volleyball. In the end, junior Cierra Adams put down a kill on set point to get within 2-1.

The fourth set went back and forth the entire time, with the largest spread of five twice by the Jays. The set was so even that there were a number of ties, include at 23-23 on a Blue Jay hitting error. Senior Brittany Claypool (6 kills, 3 aces) put down a kill to set up match point and a kill off the Spencerville block by Buettner gave the Jays the triumph.

Other key performers for the Blue and Gold were junior Bekah Fischer (4 blocks), junior Haleigh DeWyer (12 digs), junior Colleen Schulte (5 aces, 10 assists) and freshman Maya Gerker (9 assists, 3 aces).

Junior Schylar Miller added nine assists and six aces for the visitors, while junior Chelsea Hanjora added six kills.

The Blue Jay junior varsity (1-1) grabbed a 25-5, 25-13 victory.

St. John’s opens Midwest Athletic Conference action 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Fort Recovery.

Spencerville hosts Wayne Trace 6 p.m. Thursday.

The night before, Van Wert bested the Jays 25-21, 25-12, 21-25, 25-17.

Geise led the way with nine kills and five blocks, along with Fischer (4 kills, 3 blocks), Claypool (4 kills, 3 blocks, 17 digs), senior Kaylie Youngpeter (3 aces), Schulte (12 assists) and Gerker (12 assists).

Last Updated on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 12:45 AM

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