Clay City needs five to take down Lady Miners
By Terry Schwinghammer
For the Linton-Stockton Lady Miners and the Clay City Lady Eels Tuesday's Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference volleyball match at Linton was literally a tale of two teams - for both sides.
It was the Lady Miners who got off to a fast start in the opening set. Tken Linton-Stockton came out flat in the second set and Clay City stormed back to take sets two and three.
The Lady Miners rediscovered the team that opened the match and rallied back to take the fourth set.
But in the deciding set, the Lady Eels of the second and third sets returned. And Clay City came away with the 21-25, 25-8, 25-23, 25-27 and 15-2 victory.
"I don't know where we went in the second set and again in the fifth," Linton-Stockton coach Scott Vanderkolk said. "But the team that showed up in the first and fourth I'll take all year."
The hosts trailed 11-7 in the first set after four straight errors. But the Lady Miners took a 15-13 lead when Clay City returned the favor with bobbles and miscues of their own.
A pair of tips from Shaylee Swearingen knotted the score at 17.
Then Brantli Lannan drilled a winner into the right corner, Ryleigh Fidler served an ace and Reghan Moody delivered a tip and a kill to give Linton a 22-19 edge. Slams by Hadlea Chesterfield and Haley Rose finished off the first set with authority.
But just like that it disappeared.
The Lady Eels raced out to a 12-1 lead behind a trio of winners from Avalee Jeffers, a pair of Swearingen kills and aces off the serves of Addie Kittle and Jenna Ream.
Unforced errors then became the Lady Miners' undoing as the deficit increased to 18-4.
It was more of the same in act three. Double hits, violations, and strikes sailing long or plowing into the net staked the Lady Eels to a 10-4 advantage.
Three more Jeffers slams and another Kittle ace found the Eels on top 22-9. Jeffers would pile up 23 kills in the match along with four blocks while Kittle had 19 digs and seven kills.
"We got off to a slow start," victorious coach Garicke Rubin said. "We didn't play real well the first game.
"In game two and game three we came out on fire. The girls were really jelling. We did what we wanted to do."
But as with their opponents, it disappeared for the Lady Eels in the next set as the Lady Miners came storming back to make a match of it.
"And then we had that letdown," Rubin said. "You can't do that against a good team. Scott's got them coached well. They have some players over there that cause us some fits."
And it came from multiple sources.
Sydney Voigtschild, Rose, Fidler and Lannan all delivered kills and Chesterfield and Rose teamed up for a block as Linton led early, 8-6.
Tori Gard and Kittle broke a 17-all deadlock with kills. Chesterfield' slammed one home and Mallorey Frye fired an ace to again forge a tie at 19.
Jeffers traded points with Fidler and Moody. Chesterfield's strike gave the hosts a 26-25 lead, then Clay City's next attempt sailed long.
"When we got to the fifth set I told the girls 'We can't let up." And we got on that roll," the Lady Eels coach said.
There was no letup on the part of the Lady Eels. Jeffers put away five kills and Swearingen added a trio of her own as the deciding set was never close.
"You've got to give credit to Avalee Jeffers," her coach said. "She had the match of her life."
To go along with Jeffers big night, Shaylee Swearingen had 19 digs and eight kills with Jenna Ream delivering 16 assists and 12 digs. Madelyn Ames had 20 assists and 10 digs and Emily Yocom had 22 digs for the Eels.
For the Lady Miners, it's back to the drawing board in search of consistency.
"Making things consistent is the ultimate goal," Vanderkolk said. "And we're trying to figure that out."
Clay City improves to 9-1, 2-0 in conference play. Linton-Stockton is 3-3, 1-1.
Both the Lady Miners and Lady Eels are back in action Thursday. Linton-Stockton hosts Northview while Clay City travels to Owen Valley.