In a match that started and ended poorly but was well played in the middle, the Lady Wolves fell short against the Elk County Crusaders in a five-set match.
"We started off on the wrong foot by allowing ECC point runs in the first game and allowing them to control us," said Kane head girls varsity volleyball coach Judy Kessler. "Then in our middle games we did a lot of good things, passing well and attacking well from good setting.
"At the end of the match, once we were in trouble at 5-0 it all just sort of crumbled from underneath us."
In the first set, the Wolves had their only lead at 4-3 before serve-receive and passing errors buried them. ECC jumped to leads of 5-12 and 6-19 before Nerissa Rich got a kill for the Wolves second of the game (Audie Perry had a quick attack for point 2).
The only other aggressive point the Wolves could get was a solo block by Morgan Nicholson for point 9. Before they knew it, the Wolves gave up the game 25-10.
The Wolves put that game behind them and moved on to game two where they took a 3-0 lead with a block by Kaila Jamerson and Perry and an ace from Nicole Shrubb.
Points traded to a 14-19 lead. With solid passing, Nikki Sicher (2), Nicholson (2), and Perry (1) were able to attack the ball as setters Katelyn Moran (1) and Shannon Kocjancic (4) put the ball up for assists. LIbero Shrubb had some great passing as the Wolves and Crusaders battled to a 20-21 score. Sicher added twp more kills and Cassie Whittemore her first of the night. Tied at 22-22, Perry took command at the net and put down a quick attack off a Jamerson set and then finished the game with a double block with Whittemore for a 25-22 victory.
To take an 11-9 lead in the third game, Perry (3) and Whittemore (1) had kills at the net. Then the lead disappeared as sloppy passing and attacking allowed ECC to double their points for an 11-18 lead.
"We seriously struggled to pass and once that fell apart, the ball was just thrown up for the offense and we couldn’t do much with it," Kessler said. "The passers weren’t doing a consistent job of platform to target so the ball was shanking all over the place.
"Once we got it under control, the rest of the game was fairly even."
Sam Ferranto and Kocjancic had a couple of nice digs that allowed the ball to stay alive for an eventual Perry kill. The Wolves kept fighting for points and got attackis from Jamerson and another from Perry with strong serving from Moran. At that point, they were only down by two points at 19-21. But ECC kept the ball moving and although Sicher added another kill, it wasn’t enough as the Wolves lost the game 25-21.
With a few short point run from both teams, the Wolves and Crusaders battled to scores of 5-7, 10-10, and 17-15 as they combined for four kills, and ace, and a double block. Down 18-19, the Wolves earned a point on some great defense, including a soccer foot save by Shrubb, which eventually led to a kill by Nicholson as the Wolves pulled ahead 10-19.
See full article by purchasing the Sept. 14 edition of The Kane Republican.