Times Staff Reporter
CLAY CITY -- The Clay City Lady Eels volleyball team hosted Riverton Park Thursday evening and was able to triumph in a three-set sweep, 25-19, 25-18, 25-22.
The first set played out very close, both teams trading possessions until Clay City pulled ahead to a 21-19 lead. The Eels closed the set out quickly after that with an ace by sophomore Chloe Kittle, a kill by senior Shelby Hane, then another ace by Kittle.
Hane had a great night, with six total kills and a block.
The second set looked like it would be just as close, until Riverton Park battled the set up to a 7-2 lead.
However Clay City stormed back, scoring seven straight points to tilt the lead back to the Eel's side. The run wasn't dominated by any one player, but shared amongst the entire team. Three different girls had kills during the run: sophomore Asie Jeffers, Hane, and sophomore Callie Dayhuff.
After the run, Clay City kept the pressure on Riverton Park for the rest of the night, never surrendering the lead. They were able to hold on to it long enough to secure the victory for the set.
Riverton Park made just a few too many mental mistakes in the second set, communication errors that led to the Panthers letting the ball sail between two players.
Clay City head coach Lu Anne Anderson was pleased with her team's improvement during the year.
"Our serve-receive passing was much better than it was the night before," Anderson said. "When we pass well, we play well."
Clay City senior Olivia Schindler's passing was spot on Thursday. She had 15 assists on the night.
The third set was, like the first set, very close throughout. That is, until Clay City jumped out to a 17-12 lead.
But the Panthers would not go down quietly. They came storming back to close the deficit to just two points, 21-19. It looked as though the match would be extended to at least another set with all the momentum going the Panthers' way.
Momentum alone wasn't enough for Riverton Park as Lynsey Higgins recorded the final kill to end the match. Anderson was proud of Higgins' effort and consistency.
"Lynsey Higgins is always steady for us," Anderson said. "She always leads us in kills and she had another stellar night tonight."
Thursday night was no different for Higgins, as she led the Eels in kills with 11. She also had three digs and a pair of blocks.
Clay City's next game is at Sullivan on Monday night at 6:00.