PLYMOUTH — Culver Girls Academy pulled away from Jimtown after a nip-tuck first game to advance, while John Glenn fell to defending sectional champion South Bend St. Joseph’s at the Plymouth Volleyball Sectional Thursday.
CGA 3, JIMTOWN 0(26-24, 25-15, 25-17)
It was a battle royal between two squads fighting for every point at the Plymouth volleyball sectional on Thursday night.
The Culver Girls Academy Lady Eagles were finally able to pull away from Jimtown and take a win in three games 26-24, 25-15, 25-17.
Game one was a classic see-saw battle with no team able to pull out to a bigger lead than two points. Neither was able to get a run and traded outstanding defensive saves.
“I think they played well,” said CGA head coach Matt Boland of Jimtown. “I wasn’t satisfied with the way we were playing, but in the second set, I thought we started to get our rhythm a little bit. I think that was the difference in the match.”
Game two was tied three times in the first 10 points, but Boland’s Lady Eagles were able to scratch out some breathing room and force a Jimtown timeout with a 13-8 lead, the biggest by any team up to that point. Out of the timeout the Lady Eagles simply continued their momentum to pull away at the end.
“We serve pretty well and we picked up our serve receive, and when you control the ball more out of serve receive you can be a lot more aggressive with your offense,” said Boland. “In the gap between the sets we talked about how we could be more aggressive with our offense, and I think the girls just executed what we asked them to do really well.”
Senior Abby Jeffirs had an outstanding all-around night for the Lady Eagles and in the third game teamed with fellow senior Myriam Navarro to help CGA pull away. Navarro began to assert herself on the front line in the final frame to notch the win.
“Especially as we got along later in the (second) set she started feeling pretty good,” said Boland. “Once she gets a couple kills under her belt she really gets going.”
“We don’t have all of our players; we’re still dealing with injuries. I appreciate her (Jeffirs) moving back into our outside hitter position. The girls who have stepped into the back row have tried to fill in that hole because she gave us a lot of leadership on defense.”
CGA moves on to play St. Joe in game two on Saturday morning.
• CGA 3, JIMTOWN 0 (26-24, 25-15, 25-17)
At Plymouth Sectional
Kills: Pita Navarro 13, Katy Bjornson 11, Abby Jeffirs 8
Assists: Paige Baldacci 30
Aces: Bjornson 3, Jeffirs 2, Baldacci 2, Olivia Sever 2
Digs: Jeffirs 13, Bjornson 10, Abby VanHorn 7
Blocks: Baldacci 3, Jaime Madison 2
ST. JOE 3, GLENN 0 (25-13, 25-6, 25-20)
It was differing approaches that opened the second round of the Plymouth volleyball sectional Thursday night — the size and power of South Bend St. Joe beating the defensive-minded Glenn Lady Falcons 25-13, 25-6, 25-20.
Behind the solid play around the net of Dillynn Schleg, Riley Patterson and Emily Schmalzried the Lady Falcons were able to grab a 6-5 lead in the first game.
St. Joe made a front line change, going to the combination of Mallorie Kendzicky, Briana Szymczak and Nicole Francoeur, and that seemed to settle them into a comfort zone that allowed them to run off eight unanswered points and force a Glenn time out.
St. Joe’s size began to have a big effect on the contest.
“We definitely had a height disadvantage, but we worked on it,” said Glenn coach Ashlee Fansler. “We got our hands on the shots we needed to — we would have liked to get some more blocks, but I think we did well with fighting it.”
An aggressive attack by St. Joe in game two had Glenn on the defensive and resulted in a big Lady Indian win.
“If (St. Joe) got more than one point at a time our girls kind of shut down and physically and mentally took themselves out of the game,” said Fansler. “We have to gain that confidence in ourselves that it’s just one point and we need to fight back to get the other ones.”
Glenn was far from finished. The Lady Falcons jumped out in front in game three and even though they finally did surrender held the lead to start 3-0.
“We have a good deal of fight in our team,” said Fansler. “We came out a little sloppy in the second game but came out ready to go in the third game and finally started to play our game.”
Glenn was led in digs by Schmalzried with 10 and Brittany Schmidt with four. Schleg and Loren Vukovits had two blocks each. Schleg had seven kills for Glenn, Xena Newland and Patterson added three each. Newland had the lone service ace and Kyler Columbia had 11 assists.
• ST. JOE 3, GLENN 0 (25-13, 25-6, 25-20)
At Plymouth Sectional
Kills: Dillynn Schleg 7, Xena Newland 3, Riley Patterson 3
Assists: Kyler Columbia 11
Aces: Newland 1
Digs: Emily Schmalzried, Brittany Schmidt 4
Blocks: Dillynn Schleg 2, Loren Vukovits 2