|Megan Maag powers Rockets past Lady Jeffcats|
|Monday, September 09, 2013 12:14 AM|
By Charlie Warnimont
PANDORA — Jefferson had not seen a hitter like Pandora-Gilboa’s Megan Maag yet this season.
Although the Wildcats were able to adjust to Maag’s power hitting Saturday, Jefferson couldn’t slow down the Rockets fine start to the season as they fell 25-15, 25-11, 25-21 in a non-league matchup at the Launching Pad.
The win improved the Rockets to 8-0 on the season, while Jefferson was 3-2 after the setback.
Maag, a 5-10 senior outside hitter for the Rockets, put the Wildcats back on their heels early in the match as she had nine kills in the opening game on her way to 21 kills for the match as she was 35-of-38 hitting with four blocks.
“We had not seen a hitter like her this season,” Wildcat coach Joy DeVelvis said. “It took us awhile to adjust our defense to her and get our players in the right position for a dig. The first two games we were not in position to handle the attacks and the ball was going off our players for points.”
Maag set the early tone Saturday morning with three kills and a tip ball to an open space for a point as P-G had a 5-3 lead. Not only was Maag effective in the front row with her hitting but she also served (12-14 serving, two aces) up five straight points that gave the Rockets an 11-4 lead. Hunter Hermiller (9 kills, 22-22 hitting) had two kills during Maag’s run at the service line.
After the slow start for Jefferson, they battled back to trail 14-8 before the Rockets were able to get a sideout and see Hermiller (17-19 serving) increase the Rocket lead to 18-8 as Maag had a pair of kills in the short run. The two squads traded points the rest of the first game before P-G went up 1-0 in games on a tipped ball by Hermiller.
With game one under their belt, the Rockets looked to make it two straight taking a 6-1 lead in game two. With the game tied 1-1, P-G ran off six straight points as Hermiller had a kill and Maag two kills, along with a block of a Wildcat attack for a point. Jefferson stopped the run on a kill by senior Katelyn Goergens before senior Rileigh Stockwell served up a point that made it 6-3.
A kill by Alexa Maag (3 kills) returned the serve to P-G and they ran off four straight points for an 11-3 lead as Megan Maag served up an ace, while Hermiller and Olivia Maag combined for a block kill. The Wildcats stopped the run on a kill by Desteni Lear and they stayed within range as the Rockets were leading 18-11 when senior Vivian Nofzinger (16-16 serving, 1 ace; 79-79 setting, 37 assists) stepped to the service line. Maag served out the second game as she had an ace and Megan Maag had a pair of kills.
Pandora-Gilboa kept that momentum going into the third game as they scored the first five points before a service error gave the Wildcats a sideout. Jefferson couldn’t overcome the early deficit but didn’t let the Rockets dominate the third game like they had the first two.
P-G had an 18-10 lead in the third game before the Wildcats started to make a run coming within 20-17 on kills by Goergens, Lindsay Deuel and Brooke Culp. P-G regained the momentum on two kills by Olivia Maag (4 kills). A service error gave Jefferson a point before kills by Hermiller and Olivia Maag gave the Rockets match point at 24-18. Three straight errors by the Rockets helped Jefferson come within 24-21 before the Wildcats were called for being in the net on a block attempt to give P-G the match.
“We played better that third game,” DeVelvis said. “We were able to get our defense in position to handle their hitters and we were able to get the ball to our hitters so they could be effective.”
P-G won the junior varsity match 25-10, 25-13.
The Wildcats are back in action Monday as they visit Antwerp, while the Rockets are home for a Blanchard Valley Conference matchup against Hardin Northern.