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Lady Cardinals back on winning track

PARK HILLS – The Mineral Area Lady Cardinals took a rare loss on Tuesday, but bounced right back on Wednesday to defeat the Lewis & Clark Trailblazers in three straight games 30-18, 31-29, and 30-20.

The Lady Cardinals flexed their muscles from the very start and the Trailblazers could not match MAC’s strength in hitting or blocking.

The Lady Cardinals attacks were hitting the floor, but the Trailblazers either found their attack attempts either blocked or they had to hit up and over the block which made MAC’s ability to pass the ball a lot easier.

The Lady Cardinals jumped out to an 11-6 lead in the first game when Lewis & Clark called to time to readjust their defense. The Trailblazers had to constantly dig the ball out on defense while MAC enjoyed many free-balls from the visitors.

At 19-11, Cassidy Wisdom served three straight points with the aid of kills by Chaumone Robinson-Streater on the short sets of Jennifer Gabrian and by Monika Jaroszewicz and Tiara Boyer who took the long sets. The final point was won by MAC on a missed serve by the Trailblazers.

In the second game, Jaroszewicz gave Mineral Area a cushion as she served up four points, three for aces and the fourth a pop-up by the defense to the net that Megan Kelly blasted for a kill. Kelly in turn went to the service line and served an ace of her own to widen the margin even more.

At 19-12, Lewis & Clark called time after Jaroszewicz came back to the service line and served another ace. The Trailblazers began to mount a comeback and closed to within four points at 24-20.

MAC moved out to a 26-21 lead, and Lewis & Clark called for a second time-out. This time it had good effect for the visitors.

The Trailblazers led by serves from Lindsey Knaust and Megan Rynd were not only able to close the deficit, but they took the lead on a kill by Kayleen Wittich and looked to make it a four-gamer at 29-28. MAC coach Tim Copeland called time hopefully to prevent the equalizer from happening.

Lewis & Clark’s next attack try hit nothing but net, and MAC had a reprieve. The Lady Cardinals made the best of it with the Trailblazers hitting another ball into the net and then a shot out-of-bounds for MAC’s win.

In game three, Jaroszewicz’s jump serve took away the Trailblazer’s attack and again set up easy attacks for the Lady Cardinals. Jaroszewicz served five points straight to give the Lady Cardinals an 11-5 lead. Trying to stop the runaway, the Trailblazers called time again.

Jaroszewicz served another ace following the break. MAC never looked back this time and there would be no comeback by the visitors. At 243-14, Lewis & Clark called time again. The steady attacks set by the hands of Gabrian resulted in 12 kills in the third game, and Gabrian added three of her own as well.

The game ended on a combined block by Robinson-Streater and Jaroszewicz.

Jaroszewicz was tops in kills with nine for the Lady Cardinals. Wisdom and Tiara Boyer had eight each. Robinson-Streater had six kills and three blocks. Libero player Jessica Murdick and Wisdom supplied much of MAC’s defense with 18 and 16 digs respectively. Gabrian had 10 digs to go along with 35 assists out of 107 sets. Chelsey Morris had nine digs.

Mineral Area, 18-5, plays next in the Southwestern Tourney in Belleville, Illinois on Friday and Saturday.

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