Spencerville’s Schylar Miller tips the volleyball over Crestview’s Courtney Trigg and Kirstin Hicks Tuesday night at Convoy.
CONVOY - After a 5-set, non-conference win against county rival Van Wert Monday, the Crestview Lady Knight volleyball team returned to Ray Etzler Gymnasium Tuesday to take on the Spencerville Lady Bearcats in Northwest Conference action.
The Lady Knights dominated Tuesday’s match from start to finish, only trailing for one point the entire match en route to a 25-10, 25-13, 25-18 sweep.
“Another conference match, we had to come with our A-game,” said Crestview coach Tammy Gregory. “I was concerned about last night with the adrenaline rush, going a 5-game match, what we would be like today. I thought the girls really stepped it up. They were feeling it today and they went out and did what was expected of them.”
Spencerville’s only lead of the match came when they scored the first point of the third set.
“We definitely didn’t play our best tonight, that’s for sure. We just had some off moments. I think we just got down a little bit and then from there (the girls) just didn’t want to pick their heads back up and get back in it,” Spencerville coach Kari Wicker said.
Crestview rolled out to a 6-1 lead to open the first set, prompting a Spencerville timeout. The break didn’t work and the Lady Knights continued their run, receiving kills from sophomores Courtney Trigg and Megan Hartman, freshman Haley Helm, junior Kirstin Hicks and senior Mekale Clifton on their way to a 15-5 advantage.
When the Crestview lead reached 18-7, Spencerville used another timeout, which could not halt the Lady Knight run. Out of the break, Trigg slammed home a kill to push the Crestview lead to 19-7. Leading 19-9, the Lady Knights got consecutive kills from Trigg, Helm and Hicks. Crestview got set-point on a double touch by the Lady Bearcats, then won the set on a Clifton kill.
The second set started much like the first, with a 5-1 Crestview run which was capped off by a Hicks ace. Spencerville fought back within one, however, on three Lady Knight errors and a kill by senior Abby Freewalt. Crestview responded with points from junior Nicole McClure, Hartman and Hicks to return their lead to three, 9-6. Spencerville errors gave the Lady Knights an opportunity to pull away, which they did with a run that was capped off by a Clifton kill and a Trigg block - one of many blocks Crestview recorded on the evening.
“I was really impressed with our blocking; I thought our blocking was on tonight. The girls were still attacking the ball, being aggressive at every ball. They didn’t back down, and that’s what we need to do,” said Gregory of the Lady Knight defense.
The Trigg kill sparked a Lady Bearcat timeout with Crestview leading 18-10. The Lady Knights outscored Spencerville 7-3 throughout the remainder of the second set, sealed with a Hartman kill.
Spencerville opened the third set with a kill from senior Shelby Mulholland (4 kills, 7 digs) and held tight to the Lady Knights, forging a tie at six. Crestview then went on a 4-point run, all thanks to four Lady Bearcat errors, to force a Spencerville timeout with Crestview leading 10-6.
Later in the set, sophomore Kennis Mercer got a point for the Lady Knights to put them up 15-10 and force another Spencerville timeout. Crestview continued to attack out of the break and extended its lead to eight, 20-12, on a Trigg kill. Later in the set, still down by eight, 23-15, Spencerville got a pair of points on Lady Knight errors. The Lady Bearcats got as close as 24-18 but Hicks sent home an emphatic kill to seal the match for Crestview, 3-0.
“Any conference match, to come out like that and take somebody in three sets is a great accomplishment. It’s just going to allow us to build that confidence going into another conference match Thursday,” added Gregory.
Wicker was happy with some of the things she saw from her team but said it was too little, too late: “We did a lot of good things; we just need to put it all together. Crestview is a great team; we don’t take anything away from that. They have some really hard hitters, they have great blockers. So we were doing our best to put (the ball) in spots around them. We started getting it there but it was just a little too late.”
Hicks led the Lady Knights, going 18-18 serving with an ace, while also recording 11 kills. Clifton added eight kills and Hartman six. Trigg had seven kills and six blocks, while Helm had 21 assists. Freshman libero Tianna Rager recorded 16 digs.
Sophomore Katie Merriman (2 aces, 5 digs, 2 stuff-blocks, 4 kills) and classmate Schylar Miller (11 digs, 14 assists) contributed to the Lady Bearcats.
Spencerville (4-10, 0-5 NWC) hosts Jefferson 6 p.m. Thursday, while the Lady Knights (9-4, 4-1 NWC) travel to Allen East.