Blackbirds fly past Eagles in straight sets

By Joe Blystone - For the Expositor

Oh what the words of the person in charge in a timeout can do.

Down 9-6 in the first set and not exactly happy with her team’s play to that point, Pettisville volleyball coach April Beck called timeout.

The words of wisdom in that huddle obviously were evident on the court as the Blackbirds ran off the next 12 points, and then rolled to a 25-12, 25-10, 25-4 sweep over Fayette at the Eagles Nest Monday.

“I told them it was time to show up and not underestimate what Fayette was doing,” Beck explained of what she said in the huddle. “I said we had to play our ball game.”

Two kills each from Rebecca Stevenson and Kelsie Storrs, along with four attack errors by Pettisville helped the Eagles climb on top by three.

After Beck’s speech, the Blackbirds became dominant at the net, blocking attack after attack, eventually causing seven straight Fayette hitting errors that put Pettisville up 13-9.

Two aces by Hannah Minchella and a pair of Amanda Grimm kills boosted the margin to 18-9 before Hannah Towns Hall stopped the barrage of points with a left-side kill.

Two more Grimm points, including a resounding slam off a block, and two by Liz Rochefort closed out the first set.

A Rochefort bullet broke a 3-3 second-set tie, then an ace from Paris Coopshaw started a five-point run that put the Blackbirds in control.

Minchella chipped in with two more kills and Leah Beck with another to expand the Pettisville margin to 20-6.

Stevenson’s push and serving ace were countered by another Rochefort kill and Alli King’s ace to end set two.

“We have some people with height coming back (Grimm and Rochefort) and they are experienced and they can hit the ball,” said Beck. “We also have other options too that can score for us as well.”

In set three, Pettisville jumped out early as Grimm and Rochefort each had slam dunks at the net, then Anne Stuber and Beck combined for three serving aces and Rosemary Baer got a couple of kills to aid in finishing out the match.

“Our middles did a great job controlling the net,” Beck said. “They keep getting better and better and hopefully that’s a trend.”

Pettisville travels to Montpelier Thursday, while Fayette hosts Toledo Waite.

By Joe Blystone

For the Expositor