Wednesday, November 22, 2017 Elyria 30°


High school volleyball: Keystone comes from behind vs. Wellington



WELLINGTON – The heat, the noise, the hostile crowd – it all conspired against Keystone.

And it looked like it was all going to get to the Wildcats after Wellington dominated Game 1 in a key Patriot Athletic Conference match Tuesday.

The Dukes clobbered Keystone, the conference favorite, in the opening game, 25-12. Wellington also found itself with healthy leads in the second and third games.

Keystone, however, didn’t wilt after its poor showing in Game 1. The Wildcats rallied to win in four, with scores of 25-18, 25-21 and 25-18 in the final four bouts.

“They were ready for us,” Keystone coach Dave Cross said. “They didn’t make any mistakes in the first game, and we made a lot of them. That’s a bad combination.”

“Our kids ran our offense as efficiently as possible in Game 1,” Wellington coach Marsha Coultrip said. “We had to attack Keystone in all phases of the game, and we did that in the first game.”

Keystone (3-0, 2-0 PAC) trailed only 9-8 in the opener before Wellington (1-2, 0-2 PAC) went on a 14-2 run.

The Dukes were ahead 14-11 in Game 2 and 14-7 in the third game. The final game was the only one in which Keystone didn’t struggle.

“We overcame some adversity, and I’m happy about that,” Cross said. “We had to keep our composure and execute an offense in a tough place to win, with the crowd really getting into it. We had to sit some girls down and let them get the bad play out of their heads. It worked.”

“We got away from attacking in the second game,” Coultrip said. “We got it back in Game 3, but we started having serving problems. We cannot do that against a team that tall. We don’t match up with Keystone’s height. It’s not even close.”

Keystone scored 14 of the final 18 points in the second game. Kari Kincannon, who led the Wildcats with 18 kills, had five of them in Game 2. Chloe Irish, who finished with 15 kills, had six in the second game.

Kincannon, Keystone’s 6-foot-1 all-state candidate, was at it again in Game 3 with six kills. The Wildcats went on a 15-5 run to take a 22-19 lead in the third.

Keystone scored six straight points in Game 4 to grab a 13-8 lead. The Wildcats were ahead 16-9 before Wellington pulled within four at 20-16. Kincannon ended the match with her last kill of the night.

Kyrsten Johnson was 80-of-87 setting with 37 assists for Keystone. Erica Gregory had 13 digs and four kills for the ’Cats.

Megan Auble led the Dukes with 10 kills. Monica Walker and Callie McConnell had seven kills each. Melanie Conklin and Morgan Brasee led Wellington’s setters with 17 and 13 assists, respectively. Melissa Rennie served eight points with six aces.


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