Geoff Cowles/News Danville Blue Devils’ Sammie Lavender (13) scores against visiting Centerburg’s Noa Sesma (12) and Hallie Moreland (21).

DANVILLE — The Danville Blue Devils (1-8, 0-5 KMAC) put up a struggle, but the visiting Centerburg Trojans volleyball team (7-7, 1-3 KMAC) closed ranks and finished them off in a three-set sweep, 25-20, 25-17, 26-24, in their Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference volleyball match Tuesday.

“Our girls did a nice job working together and battling,” Centerburg coach Sally Simpson said. “They made sure that nothing hit the floor. For the most part, they’re coming together and doing a nice job.”

Both teams came out strong in the opening set with the Trojans making a small run at the end to win. In the second set, it was all Centerburg. With Noa Sesma serving, the Trojans built up a 11-2 advantage. Sesma landed several aces, while teammate Grace Mulpas scored twice and setter Halle Moreland racked up two of her 36 assists for the night. Natalie Coffing (eight kills, 14 digs) added another point for the Trojans in that run.

When Coffing got service later in the set, the Trojans pulled away, taking a 18-3 lead. Mulpas scored two more times for Centerburg, including once on a block. Teammate Taylor Scowden (14 kills, 10 digs) added a pair of scores as well.

“We just stayed with them (early),” Scowden said. “We had to play our game and then, we took charge.”

That appeared to be working, when the Trojans had a two sets to none advantage and an 18-13 lead in the third set. Then, the Blue Devils started making noise, getting a few points with Brittany Holt serving.

With the Trojans still on top, 20-16, Danville’s Ally Bower (six kills) got service. She landed an ace and helped her team to close to within a point, 20-19.

Later, it was Danville’s Sammie Lavender (three kills, 16 blocks), stepping up to the baseline. With her serving, the Devils got a score from CeCe Newbold (20 blocks) to finish a long rally. Lavender tied it at 23 with an ace and Bower scored to put Danville ahead.

Scowden, however, scored twice in the end, helping her team finish off Danville.

“We played as a team,” Scowden said. “We communicated a lot more and we all came together to win.”

Danville coach Danielle Dawson is used to seeing her players pull together and fight back.

“That is one thing that I can say about our girls is that they never give up,” Dawson said. “They may have a few points where they are not at their best, but then they usually come back and rally.”

Centerburg’s Abby Miller (broken ankle) is out for the season, while Emma Bentz (concussion) may return this week and Sesma (strained back) continues to struggle. Simpson is doing the best she can to fill the holes.

“We’re battling a lot, but I’ve got some good kids stepping up,” Simpson said. “It has definitely been a series of unfortunate events.”

Kaitlynn Briggs had seven digs for the Blue Devils, while teammate Madison Elliott finished with 19 digs. Also, for Centerburg, Brooklyn Marshall had 25 digs and Kristy Vargo had four digs.

The Trojans will host Northmor in a Thursday night KMAC matchup at 7 p.m. In the meantime, the Devils will not play until Sept. 20 at 7 p.m., when they visit Highland.


Geoff Cowles: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews




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