Clearfield spikes Penns Valley
Clearfield's Dakota Farmery, right, goes up for a block as Penns Valley's Madison Bressler attempts a kill during Tuesday night's match. Farmery had 15 kills and three blocks to lift the Lady Bison to a four-set win. (Photo by Jon Christoff)
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
By Jon Christoff Sports Writer
HYDE - In her three years as head coach of the Clearfield volleyball team, Sarah Fye has spent a lot of time at practice working on her team's serving.
The hard work put in by the Lady Bison was on display on Tuesday night at the Arthur J. Weiss Gymnasium, as timely points from behind the end line and the play of Dakota Farmery at the net lifted Clearfield to a four-set win over visiting Penns Valley.
The Lady Rams had sizeable leads in each of the first two games, but service runs by Amber Scott and Devynn Ireland brought the hosts back for come-from-behind wins and ultimately the match.
Clearfield won 25-22, 29-27, 18-25 and 25-23.
"I am very proud of every single person on this team," said Fye, whose team had 52 service points in the match. "We were down in all of the sets we won, but we found a way to dig down deep and we came out on top. We relied on every person's role on this team and what they have to contribute. It was a great four-set win.
"Over the last three years, we've worked tremendously on our serving. ... We're starting to put the fundamentals of volleyball together."
Victoria Ireland got the Lady Bison off to a quick start in the opening set with three straight service points, as Clearfield raced out to a 5-2 lead.
After a Penns Valley kill, the Lady Rams' Madison Bressler went on a serving run of her own to put her squad ahead 14-5.
During Bressler's 9-point run, Chelsea Emel had four kills and a pair of blocks, but Farmery and Scott got the better of Penns Valley in the opener.
Farmery responded to Emel's play with three kills and a block of her own during Scott's 9-point run, which put Clearfield ahead for good, 22-18, before Penns Valley came up with a kill to remain alive.
Scott finished the night with 12 service points for the Lady Bison.
"Amber Scott stepped up big time," Fye said. "She's a senior leader for us. She served the ball very well. My hat's off to her because she did serve so well during a crucial point in the game to turn our team around. I couldn't have asked more from her."
After the Lady Rams took a 20-13 lead in the second set, it was Devynn Ireland's turn behind the line to pull her team even.
Ireland, who had 11 service points, reeled off six unanswered to tie the match at 20-all. The Clearfield freshman later followed suit in pulling her team even in the fourth when it was trailing, 17-14.
"Devynn Ireland, as a freshman, has stepped up big time in a starting role," said Fye. "She does a great job of serving the ball. She's still learning the game of volleyball, but big things will come from her, too."
Ireland's effort behind the stripe was just the beginning of a frantic finish to a decisive second set.
The lead changed hands on five different occasions, but it wasn't until a Khushali Patel ace that Clearfield earned a hard-fought 29-27 win and control of the match.
"I always tell the girls that it's easier to play ahead," Fye said. "You're better off to get ahead of the other team because then they have to make the adjustments on us. They always need that drive and intensity to get some crucial points throughout the match."
Victoria Ireland staked the Lady Bison to a 5-point cushion in the third behind kills from Farmery and Amber Claycomb, but the Lady Rams' persistence paid off as they won their only set of the match.
Penns Valley seemed poised to force a deciding fifth set, but another Clearfield rally was in the works.
The Lady Rams held a 23-21 lead with serve, but the next offering sailed long of the end line and the Lady Bison were able to close things out from there.
Scott finished out the match with her final three service points, the last of which came on a Farmery kill to send a raucous crowd home with a win.
Farmery ended the night with 15 kills and three blocks. The last of Farmery's kills was her only one in the final set.
"Dakota is one of the nicest kids and one of the best volleyball players I have gotten to coach," said Fye. "She is very coachable and she's smart. She's extremely smart in the game.
"Whenever we needed a kill, she was the one to go to. If she can't get a kill, she'll push the ball to where they're not. She did an excellent job tonight at the net."
Clearfield improved to 6-5 on the season and will look for its fourth straight win when it travels to Philipsburg-Osceola on Thursday evening.
The Lady Bison jayvees improved to 5-6 on the season with a straight-set win, 25-22 and 25-11.
The game was Clearfield's annual Dig for a Cure, which had various fundraisers benefiting the cause for cancer awareness.
"We want to thank everyone who came out and help raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness," said Fye.