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Lady Jeffcats edge archrival Bearcats PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, October 02, 2013 12:19 AM


Staff Writer

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DELPHOS — There was more to the Spencerville at Jefferson volleyball match Tuesday night than the usual archrivalry.

It also matched brother versus sister in the head coaches as Lady Wildcat coach Joy (Early) DeVelvis matched wits with her brother and former assistant coach Joshua Early for the Lady Bearcats.

As perhaps one might expect, this Northwest Conference battle went five sets at Jefferson High School and the hosts emerged with a 25-12, 25-16, 18-25, 22-25, 15-10 marathon triumph.


After the Lady Bearcats (4-13, 1-5 NWC) battled back from a 2-set deficit to force an ultimate set, a stuff by Lady Jeffcat (7-11, 1-15) senior Katie Goergens (10 kills; 6 aces; numerous touches at the net on Spencerville hits) gave the home team early momentum. Two hitting errors by the Lady Bearcats put them in a 3-0 deficit, a hole from which they could never recover. With Goergens and fellow senior Lindsay Deuel (8 kills, as well as her work on blocks and slowing down the Spencerville attack) doing much of the work for the hosts, as well as five Spencerville miscues, the Bearcats couldn’t answer. When senior Rileigh Stockwell got a clean kill down the line from the left side, Jefferson sealed the 5-setter.

“We were very scrappy today. We have been working on that a lot during practice,” DeVelvis explained. “We have been playing a lot of scrappy teams lately and the girls have seen what other teams can do playing that way; we figured out what we can get accomplished when we battle to not let the ball hit the court.”

Early figured it came down to not getting enough kills.

“We didn’t get enough of those points. Both teams had a lot of digs and touches at the net,” he noted. “I’m proud of the effort these girls showed. We were down to Allen East two sets and it went five, though we lost. We know what we are capable of; the good thing is all these girls will be back next year.”

Jefferson got off quickly in the opening set and never looked back. A Goergens ace made the score 10-2 and forced Early to take a timeout. That didn’t slow down the Jeffcat momentum much as not much later, a 7-0 spurt — with six kills from various sources — put the Red and White in complete control at 21-7 on a bump winner by junior Brooke Culp (19 assists). An ace by Goergens sealed the opening installment.

It seemed as if the trend of the first set was going to continue in the second set, with a kill by Deuel putting the hosts up 10-4. Just as quickly, the Bearcats began to rally back, keyed by a kill by junior Schylar Miller (14 assists), tying the set at 10 on a hitting error. As well, the volleys began to lengthen, with both squads digging like demons — refusing to let the ball hit the court — and getting touches at the net on a regular basis. Jefferson senior libero Kamie Pulford was instrumental there, as were classmate Gabby Pimpas and junior Desteni Lear; Spencerville countered with junior libero Maddy Hollar and classmates Cali Conrad and Amanda Crider in particular.

However, the hosts had the finishing kick. A Spencerville serving error put the Wildcats up 18-16 and Goergens took the serving controls. Five aces later, including one that hit off the net and fell to the floor on set point, gave them a 2-set lead.

However, the Red and White couldn’t sustain that momentum into the third set. The Black Attack got off to a 5-1 edge on a hitting miscue by the hosts, 11-6 on an ace by junior Megan Miller (8 kills) and 18-13 on another hitting error. Though the Wildcats rallied all three times to tie the score at 6-6 (a Stockwell kill), 11-11 (a hitting error) and 18-18 (a Stockwell ace), the Bearcats had the final reply. After junior Cierra Adams put down a spike off the Jefferson block, that put the serve in the hands of Schylar Miller. Two Megan Miller kills and four aces later, including on set point, kept the Bearcats in the match.

Spencerville appeared to have the momentum in the fourth set, getting out to a 10-4 edge on a kill by junior Katie Merriman. Again, the Wildcats had the answer, helped by some hitting miscues by their rivals, to take a 14-13 edge on one of those errors. A missed serve by Jefferson ignited a 7-0 Spencerville span as the hosts had a few miscues, forcing a DeVelvis timeout down 20-14. That stoppage did the trick as a missed serve, a Culp kill and stuff and two aces by sophomore Claire Thompson rallied them to a 21-12 tie on a hitting error. However, a Jefferson hitting error start Spencerville on a finishing spurt — 4-1 — forced the fifth set on a push into the open court by Merriman.

“We came off a 5-set win at Bath the night before. I felt with that, plus the rivalry we have with Spencerville and me coaching against Josh adding some more to it, the girls were excited and it showed the first two sets,” DeVelvis added. “We then went into our mental blahs in the third and fourth sets. Fortunately, we got out of that in the fifth set and played very well to finish it off. Again, it came down to our great effort.”

Both teams return to action Thursday: Jefferson at Allen East and Spencerville vs. LCC.

“We simply didn’t play well the first set. For some reason, it usually takes us about a set to get into a match; tonight it was a set and a half,” Early added. “Once we got into it, we played well. When that happens, we can compete well; we just need to really get started earlier. I cannot fault the effort of the girls.”

Jefferson’s junior varsity moved to 6-8 with a 25-10, 25-14 victory.

Last Updated on Wednesday, October 02, 2013 5:28 PM

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