CENTERBURG — Both teams are full of promise, but each one is traveling its own road to success. On Tuesday, the Centerburg Trojans (9-8, 5-4 KMAC) showed that they are a little further down that road, sweeping the visiting East Knox Bulldogs, 25-13, 25-12, 25-17, in Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference action.
The Trojans jumped out in front, 15-5, in the first set, while the Bulldogs’ passing game seemed be all but nonexistent. Late in the first set and early in the second set, the Bulldogs’ passing and setting game began to show signs of awakening, but it wasn’t quite in sync. Reign Hernandez and Hallie Rine (15 digs, 10 assists) scored for East Knox, but the Trojans looked like they were going to run away with the second set. A couple of unforced errors by the Bulldogs and a pair of well-timed blocks by Centerburg’s Abbie Miller (seven kills) and Grace Mulpas (14 assists, four kills) lifted their team to a 6-2 advantage in the second set.
Things turned on a dime when East Knox’ Jaclynn Mahle got a kill. Then, the Bulldogs, with Rine serving, got a pair of scores from Meggan Bartok (12 kills, two blocks). When Rine was done, the score was tied at 8.
Later in the set, with Brooklyn Marshall (five digs) serving, the Trojans got scores from Amani Marshall (two blocks, two kills) and Natalie Coffing (four kills, four digs) to boost the Trojans’ lead to 16-11.
“The one thing we did right was to come together, as a team,” Brooklyn Marshall said. “We usually try to play our game and focus on each other.”
Brooklyn Marshall’s quickness allows her to get to balls that, otherwise would wind up out of bounds.
“I feel like every point matters in a game, no matter how small or big it is,” Brooklyn Marshall said. “I just try my hardest at everything.”
Sometimes, she reaches the bleachers before she gets to the ball.
“When she goes after the ball, sometimes I get a little bit of an anxiety attack, because she might run too far,” said Centerburg coach Rachael Walpole. “She runs all over the court. Bleachers are hard and the chairs are hard. She likes to find all those objects.”
With Centerburg still on top, 18-15, Mulpas scored and then, with Coffing serving, the Trojans expanded that lead to 23-17, enroute to winning the second set.
“Our team usually blooms a little late,” said East Knox coach Allie Henthorn. “Our girls start out slow but usually do better in the second set. We usually fight pretty well and we learn from our mistakes in the first set. Our team does well as a whole, when we work together.”
The third set started with Noa Sesma (seven digs) getting to serve for the Trojans. She immediately went to work with her teammates, Sesma and Miller — both of whom scored. Sesma added an ace to give the Trojans a 6-0 lead in the third set. Two more scores from Mulpas with Coffing serving, put the Trojans comfortably ahead, 10-2. Sesma picked up two more aces to help her team roll to a third set win and a sweep.
Earlier in the evening, the Centerburg jayvee volleyball team defeated East Knox, 25-15, 25-17, 25-13.
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