At times Evergreen looked like the very young team they are.
Then there were times that the Vikings looked like Viking teams of old that dominated the league.
In the end it was the good side of the Vikes that was most prominent in a 25-21, 26-24, 25-18 win over Liberty Center for Evergreen’s third win of the year against five losses Tuesday in Northwest Ohio Athletic League volleyball.
“We tried to focus on keeping the ball in play,” Viking Coach Nichole Thanasiu said after. “We did reduce our service errors. In some of our other matches that was a problem. At times we couldn’t find the court tonight but when we needed to be good we were good.”
Liberty Center scored just a third of their points on the offensive end in the first set as Evergreen couldn’t find the range from the service line or missed attack opportunities to give the Tigers 14 points.
However, many of those wrongs were righted by junior Ellie Johnson.
Johnson evened up the set at 8-8 with a right-side kill that ignited a five point run to give Evergreen a 12-8 lead.
Johnson added another shot from the right to keep Evergreen up four, but two middle kills by Eliza Jones brought the Tigers within 22-21.
Lucy Serna slammed a shot to the wood from the middle, then Johnson finished the set with back-to-back aces.
“Ellie has improved greatly this year,” Thanasiu expressed. “She is doing a good job running our offense, and getting better every day. She is really getting a sense of the flow of the game. She is a really balanced setter and (knows) who to set when, and then there are the times when she puts one down for us too.”
Serna’s backhand slap after Vikings scrambled all over the floor for a save gave the Vikings a 6-2 lead in the second.
Lyla Nash’s rocket from the left side, Nicole Johnson’s dunk, and a tip from Serna kept Evergreen ahead at 10-8; but Kiertsen Maas nailed a shot from the left then added two aces to put the Tigers ahead.
Brianna Sintobin scored from the right to regain a Viking lead, and after Elle Mohler’s point retied the set at 14, Lydia Valentine’s ace started a run that ended with back-to-back aces from Nash, giving Evergreen a 21-15 advantage.
The Tigers wouldn’t go away as Maas again scored twice and Jones dunked an overpass to get the Tigers even at 24.
However, a Tiger serve went long and Nash finished with yet another blast from the left side.
The Vikings were more in control in the third set.
Nash stuck three more kills and a pair of aces, while Ellie Johnson and Nicole Johnson added a pair of kills each.
After grabbing a big lead, the Vikings did have to survive a flurry of missed attacks…four straight to be exact.
Nash was the Viking who righted the ship with two straight from the left side to regain a comfortable margin.
“We got a quick timeout and got back to basics,” explained Thanasiu. “We ran a simple offense that we run to get a score and Lyla really came through for us.”
Evergreen makes the trip to Edgerton Thursday for a varsity only match, then hosts Whitmer Monday night.