September 5th, 2018

Rockets survive Jaguars rally

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor


Rockets survive Jaguars rally
Assumption's Alexa Hendricks makes a serve / photo by Conor Revell

Assumption’s top-ranked volleyball team was dominating and living up to its billing, but then it almost all came crashing down, and nearly suffered their first lost of the season.

The Rockets nudged past visiting third-ranked Mercy 25-14, 25-19, 29-31, 17-25, 15-10 Tuesday night in-front of a massive standing room only crowd.

“I thought we served well in that first set and we made some errors in the second set, but we were still aggressive,” Assumption head coach Ron Kordes said. “Then we started to relax in the third set.I’ve told them before that when you relax, bad things happen.

“Our defense and blocking shutdown, Mercy came out swinging and were at our heels and we didn’t handle it very well. The momentum switched to the other side. We have to learn to keep playing the way we want to play. We have to get better at finishing. It’s a learning thing and it’s early.”

The Jaguars (9-3) are the first team to steal two games from the Rockets this year.

“I think we were playing kind of loose in the first couple of games,” Mercy head coach Matt Thomerson said. “We then decided to come out and play well the last couple of sets. We can put out a fight if we really want to. Our team motto is discipline and consinsistency. We proved to the world that some teams should be scared of us too.”

Assumption (13-0) grabbed control right at the start building a 10-5 lead in the first game, the Jaguars never got any closer than four the rest of the way.

The Jaguars were competitive in game two early as there were six ties and it was knotted up seven. But, the Rockets responded and rolled to a six-point victory.

“I think we played excellent in the first two sets,” Assumption star Anna DeBeer said. “Momentum was going our way and we were taking care of the the things we have worked on a lot. But sometimes we get complacent and that’s what we did. We needed to keep pressing and the pressure got to us a little bit.”

Game three was different than the first two. It featured 21 ties and 17 lead changes. Both teams biggest lead was two giving the fans an exciting back and forth affair.

Jayme Scott delivered the final kill and was able to extend the match.

“We could have a passed a little bit better and we could have served the ball a bit better,” Thomerson said. “We need to make the block or the extra hit. There’s a lot of things that we could have done. But, I’m so proud of them fighting back and making it a game.”

It was only the second game Assumption has lost this season. Avon (Ind.) did it this past Saturday and is the only other team that can claim that feat.

“Those guys are good on Mercy,” Kordes said. “Emma and Jayme are both. We handled their serves early on, but the next thing we know we were overpassing them. I’m not sure what happened there and outside they just swung at the blocks. They’re good players and that’s what they do.”

The Rockets fell behind 6-4 in the third game, but recovered quickly, and went on a 11-4 run to close the match and keep their perfect season in-tact.

“We need to get together as a team when Mercy goes on a run like they did,” Assumption setter Camille Nazor said. “We can’t go into another world and forget about the game. We needed to do what we know how to do and get our hitters the one-on-ones.”

Assumption was superb at net and finished with 68 kills and 57 digs. Rylee Rader (22 kills), DeBeer (13 kills), Emma Monk(11 kills), and Mary Ann O’Toole (nine kills) led the way.

Nazor directed the offense and finished with 61 assists.

“I think we started passing better in that last set,” Kordes said. “We rotated our line-up and we moved up DeBeer so we could get her the ball quicker. I think the big thing in that set is we were up six or seven and then we only win by three or four. You can’t afford to make mistakes against a good team like Mercy.”

Jayme Scott (22 kills) and Emma Schurfranz (22 kills) led the Jaguars at the net. Elena Scott captained the offense and finished with 52 assists.

“We will refocus and got back to practice tomorrow and get ready for Henry Clay Thursday,” Thomerson said. “I think they have to believe in themselves. That’s something we have asked them to do all-season. You have to believe in themselves like the coaching staff believes in them. Tonight proved that we can play with the best.”

The two teams could very well meet this weekend at the Louisville Volleyball Invitational Tournament where some of the nation’s best teams will come to play at the Ohio Valley Volleyball Center.

 

 

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