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|9/21/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
Early leads don't last as Eagles top Warriors in four
|Cal-Wheat senior Stephanie Petersen blocks a Midland spike attempt during the second game of the Warriors’ setback to the Eagles, Tuesday night. Petersen tied for the team-lead with seven kills, while also racking up 11 digs, three blocks and two aces.|
By Ross Eberhart
Early advantages were not all they were cracked up to be during Tuesday night's Tri-Rivers conference match between the Calamus-Wheatland and Midland volleyball teams.
In three of the match's four sets, the team that reached seven points first ended up being on the short end of the score at the game's conclusion.
And unfortunately for Cal-Wheat fans getting their first chance to watch the team play at home, it was the Warriors who were the big victims of the trend in the Eagles' 25-17, 23-25, 25-13, 25-20 victory.
"Except for a few rough patches, this was a very competitive match," Cal-Wheat head coach Marika Pewe said. "The girls covered the floor and made really nice passes to set up our attackers.
"We talked about keeping a flow to the game and we are getting to that point, but as a team we need to talk between plays and keep each other going."
The two squads traded points early in game one before three-straight Cal-Wheat tallies (one on a kill by Katie Banowetz, the other two on attack attempts that went long) gave the home team a 7-4 edge.
The next six points were split evenly (sophomore Nina Cray had a pair of kills during the stretch for Cal-Wheat) and the Warriors retained their three-point lead.
Cal-Wheat, though, hit a rough stretch and Midland took advantage. The Eagles scored four-straight points to erase their deficit and then followed up a Warrior score by going on another six-point tear to take a 17-11 lead.
A kill by Banowetz ended the run and the Warriors took advantage of three different Midland attack errors to pull within three (18-15).
Cal-Wheat, though, would not get any closer as Midland scored seven of the next nine points (the Warriors' points came on a block by Becca VanderHeiden and Cray and an Eagle serve into the net) to finish off their opening-game victory.
The Eagles continued its roll by scoring nine of the first 12 points in game two and Midland's lead got as high as seven at 12-5.
The Warriors, however, slowly began to reel their guests in. Cal-Wheat scored two-straight points on a block and a Midland attack error and then tallied two more (after the Eagles came back with a point) on a VanderHeiden kill and another Eagle error to make it 13-9.
Midland pushed the lead back to five and the two teams traded points until the Eagles were called for two-straight violations and Stephanie Petersen slammed home a kill to pull the Warriors within two (16-14).
Cal-Wheat's momentum subsided when the team hit its ensuing serve out of bounds, but just for a moment as the Warriors got back-to-back kills from Petersen and Banowetz to make it 17-16 and force a Midland timeout.
The Eagles got the next point after the timeout, but Petersen pulled the Warriors back within one with a kill and Midland was unable to cleanly return Bailey Moellenbeck's serve, knotting things up at 18.
Cal-Wheat, though, could not get over the hump. The Eagles broke the 18-18 tie on a Warrior error and then pulled in front again moments later (Banowetz had a kill to tie things at 19) on a violation.
Banowetz tied things up once more with another kill and this time the next point also belonged to the Warriors as Midland was called for a violation.
The next two serves proved to be the deciding stretch of the game. In the first, the two teams found themselves locked in a lengthy rally that finally ended when Midland put a kill attempt into the net.
The Eagles cleanly received the Warriors' next serve and Midland was able to pound a spike on Cal-Wheat's side of the court. The ball, though, was dug up by a sliding McKenna Luepker, and the Eagles' second attempt at a kill ended up in the net to make it 23-20 Warriors.
Cal-Wheat pulled within one point of ending the game, but Midland rallied and soon the Warrior lead was back down to one.
The Eagles, though, put one more kill into the net, giving the Warriors the win and setting off a huge eruption from the Cal-Wheat faithful.
The Warriors had all of the momentum, but it was Midland who came out in game three with a full head of steam.
Like the previous set, the Eagles scored nine of the first 12 points and this time they did not allow Cal-Wheat to claw its way back.
The Warriors were able to pull within five points on three occasions after Midland's early surge, with the last coming at 13-8, but did not get any closer as the Eagles took control of the match again with a 25-13 win.
Needing to win game four to extend the match, Cal-Wheat stole a page from Midland's book and jumped out to an early 5-2 advantage.
The Warriors' kept their advantage until the Eagles were able to string together five-straight points to turn a 7-5 Cal-Wheat edge into a 10-7 Midland lead.
The Eagles kept pushing and quickly the score got as high as seven at 16-9.
The Warriors, though, were not about to go down without a fight. Cal-Wheat reeled off three-straight points to spur a 6-2 run that cut the lead down to three.
Midland countered with two points of its own to push the lead back to five, but Cal-Wheat continued to rally.
The Eagles committed an attack error and Petersen served up an ace before Banowetz finished off another three-point run with a kill to make it 20-18.
Midland, though, answered with three points of its own and matched the Warriors point for point during the stretch to finish off a 25-20 win.
Petersen and Banowetz both had seven kills in the match with Moellenbeck chipping in five and Cray four.
Sydney Kerr assisted on 16 of the Warriors' kills with Kylie Wilhelm adding five assists and VanderHeiden coming up with two to go with a team-best four blocks.
Petersen and Cray both had three blocks with Banowetz coming up with two. Senior Tessa Kauffman led the team with 13 digs with Petersen and Luepker joining her in double-figures with 11 and 10 respectively. Petersen served up two aces as well
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