Tigers topple Indians in straight sets
NORTH EAST — The Rising Sun volleyball team made the first set look easy. Substitutions followed, which let to a second set that did not go so smoothly.
“I was very happy with the first game,” Tigers coach Rich Wilson said. “Then I substituted heavily in the second game, so things went a little awry.”
Rising Sun defeated host North East in straight sets, 3-0, in Chesapeake volleyball action Tuesday night. The Tigers cruised to a 25-9 win in the opening game, then had to come back in the second to top the Indians, 25-20. North East led by as many as three points, 15-12.
Rising Sun took the third set, 25-13, to earn the sweep.
“I know what the problem is, but fixing it is a whole different story. I wasn’t displeased, at least we hung in there in the second and the third game,” Indians coach Rich Bowers said. “We don’t pass well. We don’t get any swings. We scored off their bad serves and our good serves. We might’ve had two or three kills all night and that’s it. They did not serve very well in the second game at all, so we took advantage of their service errors and we served well that game. It wasn’t anything spectacular that we did, we took advantage of what they did.”
Mackenzie Blevins paced the Tigers with 10 kills, four aces and nine assists. Emily Jackson had 12 assists, with eight aces and two kills, Grace Webb recorded seven kills and two digs and Sophia Eckerd added six kills, three aces and one dig.
“Grace has been a surprise on the outside, after playing middle for most of her career,” Wilson said of Webb, who has shuffled positions this season.
Emily Funk recorded an ace and seven digs for North East and McKayla Schnell added two kills and two blocks.
Wilson spent the preseason experimenting with different lineups as he works to replace four All-County players lost to graduation. He thinks it’s all starting to come together.
“We struggled through the preseason quite badly. We made some changes the Tuesday after Labor Day and that seemed to gel the team pretty well,” he said. “Passing is coming around, hitting is coming around. We’re still not where we need to be, but we’re dealing with a couple of injuries.”
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Rising Sun’s Liz Zatalava jumps for a block Tuesday during the Tigers’ 3-0 sweep of North East in Chesapeake volleyball action.