By TRENT SCOTT
For The Brazil Times
GREENCASTLE -- Clay City's volleyball squad took to the road for the second time this season, traveling to South Putnam and picking up a 3-1 win over the host Eagles.
South Putnam started off quickly in the first set, scoring the opening eight points and led by as much as 14-4. Clay City rallied to close the gap and cut the score to 24-22 before dropping the opener 25-22.
The Eels responded by opening up a quick 7-0 gap to start the second set. The hosts would get as close as 12-8 before a strong service rally by Callie Dayhuff broke the set back open.
The visitors eventually ran out 25-15 winners in set two but fell behind 6-1 to start the third set.
Clay City trailed South Putnam before a Claire Miller rally took them ahead of the Eagles 14-13. The two squads were tied at 17-17 before the Eels pulled away for a 25-21 set win and a 2-1 advantage in the match.
After both squads traded points early in the fourth set, Chloe Kittle seemingly set up the Eels to cruise in the final set with a nine point rally that saw Clay City take a 14-6 lead.
The hosts refused to yield and battle back to cut the lead to 21-18. The Eels looked to have wrapped the match up with three quick points but were forced to sweat out the final few moments.
South Putnam scored five to force the Eels to use a time out at 24-23. Kiersten Teegarden finally shut the door on a long final rally to claim the third set and a 3-1 victory.
Clay City was powered through the match by Halli Brewer, who recorded a game-high 19 kills, seven blocks, two digs and an ace. Dayhuff had seven aces, seven digs, five kills and two assists. Chloe Kittle recorded seven aces, two kills and two digs while Amy Kittle had 15 assists, four kills and a dig. Alyssa Yocum chipped in 10 assists, two digs and a kill.
Interim head coach Courtney Dayhuff said that the slow start was a product of getting back into a rhythm of school and practice.
"The girls are getting back into the swing of things with school starting. They were a little tired at practice last night and we tried to push them but it took some time to get going," Dayhuff said.
Once they clicked, however, Dayhuff though the squad played strong.
"Their response was great. Coming back from 8-0 in the first game and nearly getting the win in the first set allowed them to refocus. After that, they came out really well in the second, third and fourth sets," Dayhuff said. "The momentum started to swing after they realized how tough their opponent was going to be. They no know we're going to be playing some tougher teams this year."
Dayhuff said the match against the Eagles would put the team on notice about the competition level the Eels will face later.
"Some of the teams in the area are better than they were in past years. They're beginning to realize they are going to have to pick it up and get the offense going," Dayhuff said. "We really need to utilize Halli Brewer in the middle and then get some of the other girls involved. Once we get that going, we'll be fine."
Clay City (2-0 overall) travels to Cloverdale on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
At South Putnam