Tensions were high and the gym was packed with excited and loud fans for Tuesday night’s match up between the Albia Lady Dees and the Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Rockets. The SCC contest would determine the league runner-up and the teams did not disappoint. Albia claimed a 3-1 victory but nothing came easy.
The Lady Dees started out on fire as Abbie Martin served Albia to a 5-0 lead. Albia held the margin until Rockets Grace Roberts and Paige Harter began to dominate at the net with outside hitting and EBF took advantage of middle hitting by Brooke Shafer to cut the deficit to 23-20. A powerful kill by Abbey Griffin halted the rally and Albia was able to collect the 25-21 victory.
In the second set the tables were turned. Roberts was able to serve the Rockets to a 3-0 lead but two ace serves by Ellie Spurgin wiped out that advantage. After four ties in score, Albia went on a 4-0 run with Jenna Gronewold at the service line and Griffin adding two kills.
EBF responded with a 10-0 run of their own fueled by Eleanor Breon at the line and Shafer with middle hitting to take an 18-13 lead. Griffin ended the run with a kill but Albia made a net violation. After a kill by Tanae Thiravong, Martin went to the line and hit an ace serve. A great save gave the Rockets a chance to end the contest but Griffin cranked out two straight kills to cut the lead to 22-20. EBF was able to take advantage of a net violation and a serve in the net to claim the victory down the stretch tying the contest at one game each.
The Rockets took a 1-0 lead to start game three but a bad serve weakened the momentum. Three straight points by the Rockets with Shafer hitting in the middle put Albia at a 5-2 deficit. Griffin came through with a back row kill to turn the tide. The teams were tied at 5-5, 6-6, 7-7 8-8, 9-9 when a kill by Thiravong put the ball in the hands of Spurgin who put down two ace serves spurring Albia to a 15-9 lead. A kill by Griffin and a block by Sophie Waber made the margin 17-10. Although the Rockets were able to make some powerful kills especially in the middle, Albia was able to maintain the margin for a 25-17 win.
The Lady Dees carried that momentum into the fourth set and with Spurgin at the line, Albia started the set with eight straight points as Spurgin hit four ace serves. A kill by Shafer ended the surge. After the teams traded bad serves Shafer went to the line to score two points and later Roberts drew EBF closer at 10-7.
A block and an ace serve by Griffin solidified the margin at 12-7 After an ace serve, Spurgin squelched the Rocket momentum with a shot down the outside line and Alex Beard went to the service line for two points. Spurgin nearly finished the game hitting a kill and then serving eight straight points with two aces and Griffin supplying some powerful kills. Albia took the match with Griffin hitting a lazer for the 25th point ending the match with a 25-17 win.
Individual results were as follows: Beard 15/15 with four kills, 37 assists, 15 digs, 11/11 with one ace; Griffin 39/50 with 23 kills, one assist, 10 digs, one block, 17/19 with five aces; Jenna Gronewold 11/12 with three kills, two assists, three digs, one block, 5/7 serves; Abbie Martin 1/1 hitting, one assist, 26 digs, 10/12 with two aces; Ellie Spurgin 23/26 with nine kills, one assist, 13 digs, 27/30 with eight aces; Tanae Thiravong 13/13 with six kills, two digs, one block, 5/6 serves; Sophie Waber 9/10 with four kills, four assists, three digs, one block, 1/1 serves; and Emma Wenger 1/1 hitting, six digs, 10/10 serves.
The Lady Dees improve to 21-4 overall and 5-1 in the SCC which puts them in second place. They will play Mt. Pleasant at home on Thursday night and will finish the regular season at the Davis County Invitational Tournament on Saturday.
“It was not the outcome we were hoping for coming into a match playing for second place in the SCC,” said Coach Gladys Genskow. “We blocked well tonight and served aggressively, but our passing game was not there tonight along with communication.
The Rockets have Chariton left on their schedule for next Tuesday. The team will face Williamburg at Williamsburg on Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Grace Roberts: 28/31 Attacks, 10 Kills, 6/8 Serving, 8 Digs; Brooke Shafer: 28/31 Attacks, 13 Kills, 9/11 Serving, 3 Digs, 7 Blocks; Ellie Breon: 3/4 Attacks, 15 Assists, 18/18 Serving, 7 Aces, 3 Digs; Emmalee Davis: 3/3 Attacks, 13/14 Serving, 2 Acers, 23 Digs; Ali Fagen: 18/23 Attacks, 3 Kills, 1 Dig; Sarah Schutt: 5/7 Attacks, 2 Kills, 1 Dig, 2 Blocks; Peyton Deevers: 5/5 Attacks, 14 Assists, 6/8 Serving, 1 Dig; Paige Harter: 10/13 Attacks, 3 Kills, 1 Dig, 4 Blocks; Cooper Champoux: 10/10 Attacks, 2 Digs, 4 Blocks; Emma Davis: 1/1 Attacks, 14/18 Serving, 4 Aces, 10 Digs.