After struggling through the opening week of the season, Eisenhower's girls volleyball team couldn't have picked a better team to defeat for its first win of the year.
The Knights handed cross-county rival Youngsville a 3-1 loss Tuesday at Eisenhower High School.
"This was a big win," Eisenhower coach Tom Firth said. "The girls hustled and would not quit. They were just hungry tonight."
Times Observer photo by Brian Hagberg
Eisenhower's Lexi Dalrymple puts the ball over the outstretched hands of Youngsville's Arielle Clark, left, and Abbey McLaughlin for a point during the opening game of their volleyball match Tuesday at Eisenhower High School. The Knights defeated the Eagles 3-1 to pick up their first win of the season.
Youngsville (0-1) showed some rust playing in its first match of the season as Eisenhower (1-2) jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the opening game. Both teams were showing great effort and intensity with many points coming on long volleys. The Knights opened up a 12-5 lead before the Eagles were able to shake the rust and come back to tie the game at 15-15.
"There were some things we did in the (opening game) that were opening night 'jitters,'" Youngsville coach Terry Schrader said.
Both teams traded points for a while before Eisenhower was able to pull away for the 25-20 win. Lexi Dalrymple served a number of points for the Knights in the opening game win.
"Lexi has worked diligently on improving her serve," Firth said.
"That is the most points I've ever served in a row in a game," Dalrymple said. "The practice has really paid off."
Youngsville raced out to an 11-4 lead to open game 2. Eisenhower was able to pull within six, at 14-8 and 15-9, but couldn't get any closer as the Eagles put the game away 25-17.
"I was really impressed with our play in game 2," Schrader said. "We showed everyone what we're capable of."
Both teams traded points to open the pivotal third game.
Youngsville was forced to call a timeout trailing 7-6 after there was some confusion about its rotation. Eisenhower was able to take advantage and grab a 15-10 lead.
The Eagles closed the gap and pulled within one, at 16-13, but the Knights pulled away behind Dalrymple's strong serves to come away with a 25-13 win, and a 2-1 match lead.
"We put ourselves in a hole by missing two or three serves in a row," Schrader said. "Eisenhower did what they had to do. We made it way harder by missing serves. We did not help ourselves."
As is typically the case when these two schools meet, regardless of the sport, there was strong representation from both student bodies in this contest. Both groups made themselves heard throughout the contest, but never more than in the fourth and deciding game. Chants of "We like Ike," and "Youngs-what? Youngsville!" broke out during the game. And students were on their feet from the opening serve all the way through the final point.
Neither team would disappoint in game 4, as a ball that looked as though it was headed for a sure kill would be dug at the last second on numerous occasions and balls that appeared to have gotten away would somehow be sent back over the net.
Both teams were unable to hold serve for more than two consecutive points as the Knights and Eagles played to a 15-15 tie before Eisenhower was able to grab a 17-15 lead. Just when it looked like Eisenhower was ready to put the game away, leading 24-19, Julie Jameson made a crucial dig that allowed Youngsville to get a point.
Jameson then served four straight points to tie the game at 24-24.
Youngsville had a chance to send the match to a fifth game, leading 26-25, but a missed serve tied the game at 26 and Eisenhower was able to capitalize and come away with a 28-26 win in the game, and a hard fought 3-1 match victory.
"Youngsville hung in there and made it tough," Firth said. "They made it exciting. How could it get any better?"
"(The final game) was very intense," Dalrymple said.
"From a fan standpoint, it was very exciting," added Schrader. "As a coach, it's not what I want to see because I know the capability of my team."
Schrader also said that he was very impressed by the play of three of his freshmen, Jameson, Kennedy Cratty and Aubree Hendrickson.
"Jameson played outstanding," Schrader said. "Eisenhower could have put that last game away a lot sooner if she didn't make that dig."
Courtney Flynn led the Knights with six kills. Alyssa Peterson added two kills and Dalrymple had one.
Kyla Weber chipped in with 10 assists and Jessica Byrd had four digs. Kelsey Repke had 59 touches for the Knights.
"Kelsey covered a lot of floor tonight," Firth said.
Arielle Clark had nine kills and Savanna Schoedel added eight kills in defeat for the Eagles. Jameson had 19 digs and Hendrickson chipped in with 11 digs.
Oil City 3, Warren 2
OIL CITY - Warren grew a lot on Tuesday, in a 3-2 loss at Oil City.
"They didn't give up," said Warren coach Mike Dolan of a 15-25, 21-25, 25-13, 26-24, 13-15 loss at the Oilers. "They could have just rolled over in that third game, but they didn't."
McKenzie Merenick had 32 digs for Warren (0-2), Rachel Hasselman 19 digs, 13 kills and four aces, and Rachel Lasecki eight kills.
Warren was down 0-2 before bouncing back in games three and four and making it close in game five.
"Part of it is confidence," said Dolan, who said the Dragons started to control the ball more and get some kills and blocks. "They kept playing loose all the way through game five, just a couple things didn't go our way."
Valerie Latimer had four blocks and Nerissa McIntyre added three.
Rachel Lobdell had four aces, Meghan Loutzenhiser three kills and Mackenzie Rehe two kills for Warren in a 25-23 and 25-21 junior varsity win.
Warren J.V. is 1-1.
WCCS 3, Erie First 1
ERIE - WCCS improves to 5-0 with a 25-27, 25-11, 25-19, 25-12 comeback win over Erie First Christian.
"We made more mistakes the first game, and they played very well," said WCCS coach Monica Kerr of Erie First. "We still made some serving errors (after that), but it was definitely improved."
Whitney Poindexter had 20 service points and 10 aces; Allyssa Kerr 13 points and four kills; Kaitlin Weidner 11 kills; Christina Girard nine points and 21 assists, and; Alivia Kelsey 14 digs.
WCCS also won the J.V. match, 25-8 and 25-11. Karisa Messinger and Caitlin McCall had seven points each. Messinger added two kills.
St. Marys 3, Sheffield 0
SAINT MARYS -Sheffield was swept at St. Marys, 16-25, 14-25 and 18-25, on Tuesday to fall to 0-4.
"We've taken a step forward and two steps back (in the last week-and-a-half)," said Sheffield coach Scott Olson. "We're a solid team but we're making mistakes at the wrong time."
Brandy Rockwell had six service points, including three acess, three blocks, three kills and seven digs; Juli Ely had five points, including four aces, and three blocks; Marlea Sprandle three kills; Hannah Vile five assists, and; Justine Barr 16 digs.
Sheffield lost 22-25 and 22-25 in the junior varsity match.