SHEFFIELD TOWNSHIP — Clearview was hoping to christen its new gymnasium floor with its first victory of the season.
The Clippers got the job done, although visiting Black River gave them all they could handle in close second and third games. Still, Clearview earned its first victory 25-14,
26-24, 25-22 Thursday night.
Black River and Clearview are each 1-1 overall and in the PAC.
“We kind of had a letdown right in the middle of that second game, but (Black River) did a nice job of keeping their heads up,” Clearview coach Dave Dorinski said. “That’s tough to do after getting beaten (by 11). Kudos to Black River on that. They did a nice job.
“Especially in our new gym — and everybody’s here to check it out — it was nice to pick up the win. It’s always good to get that first win under your belt, and this is something we can build on.”
The key for Clearview was size at the net, especially 5-foot-10 junior middle Heather Younkin, who was 15-of-16 hitting with 12 kills, 20 blocks and eight block kills. Whenever Clearview needed a big kill or a big block, Younkin delivered.
“Heather’s a dominating force this year,” Dorinski said. “She’s really worked hard over the summer on her blocking, and that’s been obvious. She’s still learning, but she’s not too bad for a junior. We’re still starting to get in a groove. This is still only our second match, but I’m real pleased with where we are.”
Younkin was quick to praise her teammates.
“I just play for the team,” she said. “This is for our seniors. It’s not for me. I just try to do the best I can every game to help our team and our seniors do the best we can. Coming off a tough loss to Brookside, we knew we had to step it up. To get the win feels good.”
Senior co-captain Rachel Bolmeyer went 20-for-21 hitting with seven kills and a team-leading 11 digs.
“It’s great having a team out there that pulls through when you need them to,” Bolmeyer said. “To have a team that keeps the energy up and gets the job done like we did tonight is great. I hope we can keep this going and have a good year.”
In both the second and third games, Clearview seemed to be in control in the early going, taking leads of 14-9 and 13-9, but the Pirates kept storming back.
Junior Irmalys Candelario led everyone by going 18-of-19 serving with 17 points and two aces for the Clippers, while senior libero Kayla Twining led the Pirates with 10 points and two aces.
Black River coach Courtney Dieter was pleased with how her team responded late.
“They really came out strong and made the adjustments we were trying to make in the first game,” she said. “The score showed we made those adjustments. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the ball to bounce our way at the end.”