ČBy MATT MCKINNEY
Times Staff Reporter
CLAY CITY -- The Clay City volleyball team hosted Eminence for a Thursday evening battle, in which Clay City prevailed 25-17, 25-14, and 25-18.
In the first set, both Clay City and Eminence played a tight contest even though there were a number of mental errors by Clay City. However, Clay City finally found its groove in the first set with the score tied 13-13. Sophomore Callie Dayhuff recorded an ace, quickly followed by a kill by senior Lynsey Higgins, which resuscitated the Clay City game. Higgins had 10 kills, three blocks, and three digs on the night.
They wouldn't look back in the set, never leading by less than five from that point forward. Higgins had three kills in the set.
After the slow start in the first set, Clay City went into the second set swinging. Eels jumped out to a dominant 12-3 lead with help from three rapid aces and a kill from senior Olivia Schindler, who also ended the night with 13 assists. The pressure didn't stop during the set as Dayhuff recorded yet another kill to bring the score to 17-6.
Later in the set, with the score 23-13 and Eminence rallying, Clay City head coach Lu Anne Anderson called a strategic timeout to refocus her players. Clay City finished strong to win the set 25-14. The second set looked as different as night and day from the first set as Clay City seemingly dominated Eminence.
"We're notoriously slow starters," Anderson said. "We had a little pep talk in the huddle ... and the girls came out ready."
In the third set, both Eminence and Clay City were able to correct their mistakes to play a more evenly matched game. Eminence snaked out to an early 9-8 lead before a Higgins' kill tipped the momentum back towards the Clay City Eels. Eminence couldn't match up well enough in the third set to keep up with Clay City's offense.
"We needed a game like this," Anderson said. "Overall, our girls did a good job tonight. They battled. They swung at the other team."
Clay City's junior varsity also won their match-up Thursday, two sets to none.