Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- Momentum was a fleeting entity for the Clay City volleyball team on Tuesday evening as the Linton Miners used pivotal runs in each game to score a 25-19, 24-26, 25-16, 25-21 victory.
Linton led 17-14 in the opening set before the teams traded points. However, a hitting error by the Eels helped the Miners advance to a 20-16 lead. The Eels got a block to climb within 21-17, but a block by the Miners' Brianne Karazsia and a kill from Macy Fidler helped finish out the opening victory.
In game two, Linton appeared poised to open a two-set lead as kills from Fidler and Courtney Johnson, coupled with a block by Fidler opened up a 20-16 lead. However, momentum shifted on a kill by Chloe Kittle. Callie Dayhuff added one of her nine kills to get the Eels within 23-19 and a pair of Linton hitting errors got the Eels within 23-21. A successful attack from the Miners' Courtney Barnes put the Eels up against set point, but Halli Brewer drilled three of her team-high 14 kills in a game-ending 4-0 run for Clay City.
Brewer, who also had six blocks, was tough at the net for Clay City, but the Miners were able to spread their hitting around, which proved key over the final two games.
"Sometimes we just don't penetrate on our blocking, which is something we've been trying to work on and will continue to work on," Assistant coach Courtney Dayhuff said. "Halli (Brewer) had six blocks and she was getting up on their girls, but we really need to work on our other rotation getting more blocking as well."
Three straight kills from Fidler opened the third game as Linton built a 13-9 lead. Chloe Kittle halted a brief run with an attack for the Eels, but the Miners would finish the game strong.
A block by Fidler, a kill by Emma Brewer and a service ace by Carlie Booe pushed the lead to 20-13 and the Miners would close out the win with a pair of blocks by Barnes and an ace from Johnson.
"Once we had a few runs, then we would lose the ball and then we'd have a few more runs and we'd lose it again," Dayhuff said. "We just couldn't find our groove. We were hitting the ball not necessarily at them, just not down."
The Eels led early in the fourth game as Dayhuff served up an ace and a net violation call on the Miners gave Clay City a 3-1 advantage. However, as the set wore on, Linton pressed the Eels. A four-point run gave Linton an 8-6 lead they wouldn't give up.
The Eels got within 23-20 late on a block and a kill by Brewer, but a service error ended the contest in favor of the Miners.
Emmie Kittle led the Eels within 22 assists with Chloe Kittle adding nine digs to go with six from Claire Miller and 10 from Alyssa Yocom. Emmie Kittle had two kills and 11 digs and Dayhuff provided 21 digs and three aces.
At Clay City
Next match: Clay City (4-2 overall) hosts Owen Valley on Thursday beginning at 6 p.m.