Resiliency is probably the best word to describe Swanton volleyball’s effort after they fought back down two games to one to defeat Wauseon in five sets 21-25, 25-21, 17-25, 25-23, 15-13 Tuesday at home in the NWOAL opener.
“That is kind of what our team’s been like so far this season,” said Borer on the fight of his team. “We are pretty young, so we’re trying to get those young girls to learn what varsity volleyball’s all about. And just battling back. When we were in that (third) set, down whatever we were, I said wheher we win this set or not we’ve got to build the momentum for the fourth set.
“They showed me a lot tonight. As far as coming back from down 2-1. And that third set the way we played that one. Proud of them.”
“It is definitely one that we wanted to come away with,” said Wauseon coach Bill Blanchong. “We knew that Swanton had some weapons and that we would have to take care of it. Overall I was really pleased with the way the girls played. Really it was very good volleyball. Unfortunately, we didn’t come out on top.”
The pendulum seemed to swing Swanton’s way midway through the fourth set when they overcame an early deficit to take the lead.
With the score knotted at 18, Wauseon’s hitting error and then a tip at the net from Julia Smith put the Bulldogs in front.
“I don’t know what the stats were but I know she had a good night hitting for the most part,” said Borer of Smith.
The two teams kept alternating points until a Bulldog error tied it up at 22. However, a pair of Cydney Christensen kills put Swanton at game point.
Following a Lexi Sauber shot down the middle for the Indians, Christensen answered with a strike down the middle to seal it, tying the match at two games apiece.
Swanton held minimal leads in the fifth and deciding set, but the Indians forced the Dogs to commit a pair of errors which tied it at 13. The Dogs and junior Sidney Taylor won it as she got a kill, then followed it up with an ace.
“We were playing really well early,” said Blanchong. “And then at the end both teams were playing well and when that happens it is just a matter of the roll of the ball. And they got the roll.”
Following a tip at the net for Smith in the opening set, the Indians responded with a kill by Jen Sanders and back-to-back aces from Faith Weber to push their lead to 24-18. Swanton then scored three straight on Christensen’s shot down the middle, a Wauseon error and Riley Gardner’s ace before Sauber scored from the left side to give the Indians the first set.
Swanton trailed for most of the second set but made a late rally and ended up taking it 25-21.
The third set, however, was the most dominant in favor of the Indians. They began the game with a Sauber kill from the left side, then converted five more points off the serve of Maddie Trejo to open up a 6-0 advantage.
Following a Wauseon infraction, Sanders got a kill on a shot off a Swanton block, Maddy Martinez added an ace, a Bulldog error and Sauber’s strike down the middle extended their lead. Sauber then got a block and another Swanton miscue put the margin at 12-1.
The Indians held a lead as big as a 20-3 in that third game. Swanton did cut it to 23-15 but could not climb all the way back, however, they used their late flurry to give them confidence throughout the rest of the match.
Both teams were action on Monday as Swanton defeated Fayette and Wauseon took down Pettisville.
The Dogs defeated the Eagles 25-28, 25-13, 25-20. Smith led the charge as she was 17 of 20 hitting with 14 kills and two blocks. Christensen was also 17 of 20 and had seven kills, while Taylor notched six kills and three aces.
For the Indians against Pettisville, Sauber finished with seven kills and five blocks, Carys Grime had eight kills and seven blocks, and Karli Penrod had 10 kills.
Wauseon (4-2, 0-1 NWOAL) is now off until next Thursday when they host Evergreen in league play. Swanton (3-0, 1-0 NWOAL) travels to Delta Thursday for a non-league contest.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010