Curwensville sweeps Mo Valley|
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
By Jon Christoff Sports Writer
AMESVILLE - The Curwensville volleyball team has had its share of struggles this season, but from the way it's been playing the last two contests you wouldn't know it.
After handling Brookville on Thursday, the Lady Tide and their torrid serving continued to roll on Monday night at Moshannon Valley.
Curwensville found open spots in the Damsels' defense early and often, as it cruised to a straight-set win on Autism Awareness Night at the Lamont Close Gymnasium in Amesville.
The Lady Tide won 25-15, 25-21 and 25-13.
"We've been trying to get back to fundamentals, which is what we needed to do to win games," said Curwensville head coach Sandy Bailor. "The girls have worked really hard. We've done a lot of soul searching and we've had some hard practices, but we just want to end this season strong. We want to finish playing strong.
"Whatever happens at the end of a match - if we keep coming along and playing strong - we're going to be happy with that. Tonight, I was pleased with the way everybody played. ... I think it's just a matter of refocusing and seeing what you're doing on the court and attacking the ball."
A lot of the Lady Tide's attacking came from behind the serving line, as Mo Valley struggled at times to return the ball back over the net.
Curwensville's Katrina Seaburn had nine kills to lead her team, but the match was won when the Lady Tide held serve.
Curwensville had at least one lengthy service run in each set to take control.
"We harp on the same things at practice - pass, set, hit - and we do different drills," Damsels coach Cydnee Sankey said. "We change it up at practice to make it fun for them, and they just don't come with any enthusiasm. You can't play a volleyball game, let alone win one, without any enthusiasm."
While the Lady Tide's serving was in high gear from the onset, Mo Valley struggled to find any fluidity with its offense.
The Damsels had just five multi-point runs in the match with Carly Kitko and Chelsea Domanick each contributing 3-point runs.
Mo Valley missed five serves in the match to add to its offensive woes.
"We have missed serves from Day 1 and I don't know what else to do," said Sankey. "We work half an hour to an hour at practice just serving and making them do things for their missed serves. I don't know what else to do at this point (to correct it)."
Curwensville's Alaina Stiles put some distance between the teams in the opening game, as her 5-point run blew open a 13-11 contest.
Stiles, who had been struggling from behind the line, according to Bailor, finished the night with 14 service points with four aces to go along with 20 assists.
Teammate Melanie Milliron added eight assists to her credit.
"I talked to Alaina and Melanie before the game and said, ‘please, get your hand on that second ball so we can set it up and be able to pass the ball,' " Bailor said. "I thought we did that a lot tonight and we were smart enough to find some holes in Mo Valley's defense."
While the second set was the closest of the night, Seaburn's serving run in the early stages got the Lady Tide out to a sizeable lead.
The Damsels held a 4-3 advantage when Seaburn took to the line but found themselves in a 10-4 deficit before Curwensville was whistled for a carry.
Seaburn ended the night with a game-high 16 service points.
"It was extremely, extremely (big)," Bailor said of Seaburn's second-set run.
"I thought she had a heck of a night at the net tonight, too. She did a nice job and Ciara (Strickland did, too). It was a lot of hustle and a lot of placement. They recognized where they were at (on the court) and we're getting better at getting to the ball.
"There were probably a couple times where the ball dropped, but we're getting away from that. I'm making them follow the ball and keep the ball in play. You can get a lot of wins by playing defense, and I think they're seeing that. If we keep hustling and moving on the court, the wins will come."
The Damsels narrowed the gap to two points late in the set, but a kill attempt found its way into the net and a Tierra Shope ace ended Mo Valley's hopes at evening the match at 1 set apiece.
Stiles served the first four points of the final game, and Strickland later added a 6-point run to complete the sweep and spoil the Damsels' hopes of picking up a win on Autism Awareness Night.
"Cayenne Lantz put it on," said Sankey. "She wanted to do it ... and she wanted to go in a different direction from the Pink Outs that the other schools are doing. The money raised will go to the autism school in Clearfield so the kids can get electronics and things like that.
"Cayenne was pretty pumped up, and the girls were excited the referees let them wear their (tye dye) shirts tonight.
"Sandy was great about getting back to me about everything. All their girls had shirts, including the coaches, and they had quite a few fans here, too. I was happy with the turnout."
Both teams return to action this evening on their home courts.
The Lady Tide (4-8) host Punxsutawney, while the Damsels (4-9) entertain Mount Union.
Mo Valley claimed the jayvee match in three sets.