SWITZ CITY -- The Clay City Eels' volleyball team ended its season with a four-game loss to North Central in the second semifinal of the White River Valley Class A Sectional Saturday, 25-14, 22-25, 18-25, 6-25.
With the loss, the Eels finish the season with an even 13-13 record, while the Thunderbirds went on to fall to Shakamak in the championship match.
Early on, it looked as if the Eels would pull off the mild upset, as they jumped out to a convincing win in the first game. Kyan Roe came off the bench for the Eels and served up seven straight points as the Eels took a commanding 18-1 lead in the opening frame.
The sophomore finished the match a perfect 18-fo-18 from the service line, with 13 points, including three aces.
"Kyan came off the bench and did a really nice job for us," head coach Ashley McCullough said. "She really came in and provided a spark for us in the first game."
Serving was one of the bright spots in the match for the Eels as they connected on 97 percent from the service line (67-for-69).
Shelby Hane, who started the match off with six straight points, finished 14-for-14 and eight points.
"Our serving was exceptionally well," McCullough said. "Our problem was our service receive, especially in the final two games."
Effected most by the poor serve receive was inside hitter Lynsey Higgins. The sophomore totaled 10 kills in the first two games, including seven in the second game, but finished with just two during the final two games.
"(Lynsey) Higgins did a nice job at the net," McCullough said. "With our problem on serve receive, it made it difficult to get her the ball in a good position at the net the remainder of the match."
After dropping two fairly close games in the second and third, North Central overpowered the Eels in the fourth game.
"We have a relatively young team and I think the girls were just pure nervous there in the fourth game," McCullough said. "Hopefully, they will learn to play with more of a sense of urgency in that same situation as they mature."
McCullough also lauded the Thunderbirds for their play.
"You have to give them credit, they really stepped up their play after that first game," she said. "It seemed to wake them up and they showed just how talented of a team they are."
Megan Vansickle played her last game in the purple and white Eels' uniform in the loss. The senior was 13-for-14 from the service line with 11 points to go along with three kills.
"Megan will be greatly missed," McCullough said. "It's just not her athletic ability, but she has great team leadership and she always keeps the team in an upbeat mood."
McCullough said she was pleased with the overall season her squad had.
"I think things went pretty well for the most part," she said. "We finished at .500. There was a few matches that we let get away from us. We have pretty much our whole team returning ext season and hopefully someone will step up and fill the leadership role that Megan leaves with."
Brielle Drelick finished with three kills in the loss while Kelly McCullough had four points and six kills.