ELYRIA — On paper it looked like a rout, with visiting Elyria Open Door Christian swepting First Baptist Christian in three games, 25-18, 25-15, 25-9.
But, Monday’s non-conference volleyball match at First Baptist was more spirited than the final score indicated, with the Sabres (3-9) executing a number of long volleys to make the Patriots (11-9) work for the win.
The young Patriots, who entered the season with just two returning regulars, were led by seniors Brooke Camera and Kara DeLuciano and a group of talented newcomers.
“I’m so proud of them as a team,” said Open Door coach Abby VanWinderden. “They give me 110 per cent effort most of the time. Tonight we had a few hitting errors, but overall played really well.”
Camera was a dominating force at the net as she tied DeLuciano with a team-leading our kills. Junior Alyssa Sooy also had impressive scores on two tips in the second game, plus a slam.
“I felt pretty good,” said Camera. “My adrenalin was really going tonight. As a team, we help each other out with encouragement.”
“We started slowly (only winning by seven in the opener) but then picked up our intensity in the second and third games,” said DeLuciano.
The first game was close, with ties at 1-1, 5-5 and 6-6. The Sabres trailed by one at 18-17 before Camera finished off the win with four points, one an ace.
In the second, the Patriots jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead on Bri Rodgers’ five points, including an ace. Camera than ran off a string of four points (two aces), the came back with a five-point string (three aces) to secure the victory.
DeLuciano starred in the third game, running off eight straight points, including four aces, as the Patriots pulled way, 22-8. Camera wrapped it up with two straight tip scores.
Camera led the team with three blocks, while Rodgers had nine assists.
Julia Odle led the Sabres with four kills, while Abby Robenolt had four aces and Devon Snelling had four digs and two assists.
“We played pretty well in the first game,” said First Baptist coach Paul Scholtz, “but, in the second and third, we were sometimes lethargic and didn’t play nearly as well as we can.”
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.