Liberty Center may have won a battle but Swanton won the war in NWOAL volleyball Thursday in Swanton.
The Tigers came from way behind to score a 26-24 first-set victory, but the Bulldogs came back to record three straight blowout wins — 25-14, 25-15, 25-14 — to take a league triumph and stay undefeated overall at 9-0.
“Obviously we want to take it one match at a time and go from there,” Swanton veteran coach Kyle Borer said.
Maddie Smith, Morgan Smith and Katie Floyd each snapped off two kills to help the Bulldogs jump out to a 14-7 first-set lead but the Tigers roared back.
Three Eliza Jones scoring shots got Liberty within 22-21 then Kiersten Maas’ tip knotted the set at 22-22.
Maas’ shot through a block gave the Tigers a 24-23 lead which was answered by a Morgan Smith score-tying kill.
Delaney Krugh’s free ball return fell between three Bulldogs and Elle Mohler’s left-to-right cross gave the set to Liberty.
“We had a lack of ball control there for a while and they made us pay for it,” Borer said of the first set. “We told them before the match that if we made mistakes, Liberty would capitalize on them.”
The Dogs took an 8-2 lead in the second thanks to a pair of Sophie Taylor aces, but this time they put the pedal down and sped away.
Two Floyd kills and another by Peighton Manning ran the count to 19-9 as Swanton pulled away.
Seven Maddie Smith points on a combination of kills and aces, along with five more from Floyd were the key in the third set win then Floyd took over early in the fourth.
Five times in the first dozen Bulldog points, the 5’9” senior found wood on the Tiger side of the court to boost the Dogs in front at 12-8.
Mackenzie Secory added two more points and Floyd finished the match out with two more.
“Katie along with Sophie and Morgan Smith are our seniors and our team leaders,” said Borer. “They’re our captains for a reason and when it came to crunch time they got the job done.
“Sophie has been running this offense for four years now and even when we are out of system she finds a way to get the ball in good position for our hitters. Even in the first set when we were having difficulty we still were hitting the ball well.”
Floyd paced the Dogs with 20 kills and nine digs. Maddie Smith added 17 kills and Secory eight kills.
Swanton then picked up a 25-10, 25-9, 25-19 victory at home over Gibsonburg Saturday. They also swept Stryker in a match held Tuesday, Sept. 6.
The Bulldogs have a key 10-day period coming up with matches against highly-touted Fairview, then with league contenders Wauseon and Archbold.
Swanton welcomes Wauseon for a league match Tuesday night.