Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- The Clay City volleyball team saw a squad that was nearly a mirror image of itself across the nets on Monday night as far as youth was concerned.
The visiting Golden Arrows of Sullivan do not have a single senior on its roster, but the Eels didn't like the result.
Sullivan showed off a strong hitting game and great serve receive in defeating the Eels, 25-17, 25-19, 25-13.
"Sullivan's serve receive was outstanding," pointed out Eels' coach Ashley McCullough. "They are a young team, but they've definitely got it together and their players all knew their roles."
The Arrows used big runs during the middle of each of the three games to take control of the match.
In the opening game, Sullivan led just 12-8 following a kill from the Eels' Megan Vansickle, but the Arrows strung together several straight points before another kill from Vansickle made the score 16-10.
The Eels' struggles with hitting reared its ugly head at a pivotal point as hitting errors from Kelly McCullough and Lynsey Higgins helped the Arrows increase their lead to 22-15 before a block by Higgins halted a 4-0 run that put the game out of reach.
"We definitely struggled with our serve receive and with our communication," mentioned McCullough. "We had problems with our passing too."
The Eels clawed even at 7-all after Higgins served out an ace, but a block by Kelsey Lane and back-to-back kills from Jenna Lisman keyed an 8-0 run to 15-8.
Megan Vansickle smacked one of her six kills for the Eels and a hitting error by Brekiesha Weszely got the Eels back to 18-11, but the Eels could not get closer than seven points the rest of the way.
In the third game, Clay City got out to a 4-1 lead before Sullivan ran off the next five points for a 6-5 advantage.
The Arrows led just 9-6 when another big run derailed the Eels.
Following a Brielle Drelick kill, Sullivan turned a 16-9 lead into a 22-11 lead on a pair of aces by junior Lauren Adams and a kill by Lane.
Sullivan capped the victory on a hitting error on match-point.
Following the loss that dropped the Eels to 4-6 overall, McCullough found positives in her team's effort.
"I thought our serving was better tonight and was an improvement from Thursday," said the first-year coach. "My substitutes did a good job and Meeghan Riggs came in and played well for us, but we're still searching for that leader."
McCullough had 11 assists , Drelick had two kills and Higgins added four blocks.
The Eels won't have to wait long to get a chance to get back in the victory column, traveling to Turkey Run tonight.
Clay City's JV team earned a 25-22, 25-24 victory over the Arrows to improve to 4-3 overall.
At Clay City
Next game: Clay City (4-6 overall) travels to Turkey Run tonight at 6 p.m.