The Central DeWitt and Easton Valley volleyball teams each came up with one comfortable victory during Monday’s non-conference tilt.
So, it was the two closer sets that determined the winner.
And they were as close as you could get.
In the first set, the two teams extended past the normal 25 points needed to win the match.
In the fourth set, they did it again.
Both of the tight sets, however, were taken by the River Hawks, who came away with a 27-25, 16-25, 25-16, 27-25 victory.
The opening set did not start close as Easton Valley reeled off eight straight points to take a 13-5 lead.
The Sabers, though, fought back, not only catching the River Hawks, but passing them behind a 13-3 run.
The visitors answered, scoring five straight points to go up 21-18 and forcing set point at 24-21.
The Sabers, though, reeled off three straight points to knot things up and then a fourth point to take the lead at 25-24.
It would be the last point Central would score, however, as the River Hawks scored the final three points in a 27-25 win.
The two teams then traded big nine-point victories. Central finished set two with a 12-3 run, turning a 13-13 tie into a 25-16 win.
The River Hawks led 14-12 in the third set before they, too, broke away, scoring 11 of the next 15 points to bring home their second victory of the match.
There was no pulling away in set four as the two teams stayed close again.
Unfortunately for the hosts, it was the River Hawks who got the necessary two-point margin to finish the match.
The Sabers put down 33 kills with Kathryn Grau leading the way with seven.
Talbot Kinney added six kills, while Lauren Cooper and Elaina Schroeder both had five and Ava Morris and Carleigh Jefford four.
Senior Alyssa Eden dished out a team-best 15 assists, while Grace Pierce added 12.
The Sabers were tough defensively, coming up with 108 digs and 20 blocks.
Senior libero Kaity Frick (26), Kinney (23) and Morgan Machovec (21) all surpassed 20 digs on the night — Eden also reached double figures with 11, while Grau, Morris and Schroeder all had five blocks and Cooper four.
Central served up nine aces with Pierce accounting for nearly half of them with four.
It was the second best-of-five match in five days for the Sabers, who dropped a 25-19, 25-15, 25-10 decision to Marion in their WaMaC East opener Thursday.
The Sabers had another big night at the net with 11 blocks — a combined 10 coming from Cooper, Jefford, Kinney and Schroeder — while Cooper, Jefford and Kinney also combined for nine kills.
Eden assisted on all 13 of the team’s kills, while Kinney had a team-high nine digs (Frick added seven digs, while Jefford had five).