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Lady Cardinals beaten handily by Jefferson/By MATT KING

Daily Journal Sports Writer

HILLSBORO – Wednesday’s volleyball match at Jefferson College marked the return of Mineral Area College head coach Tim Copeland to the school where he worked as an assistant for five seasons. The homecoming quickly turned sour as his former team handed his new team the most one-sided loss of its season.

The Lady Cardinals had little margin for error against their larger opponents, and a couple of erratic stretches paved an easy road to victory for the Lady Vikings, who utilized a relentless attack for a 30-22, 30-27, 30-20 win.

Mineral Area (20-8) took its only lead of the night at 2-1 in game one on a cross-court kill by Cassidy Wisdom, but Paratina Questel countered with two straight kills and a service ace for Jefferson (10-13).

The Lady Vikings extended their early advantage by winning a couple of long points with power at the net after MAC settled for tipping the ball against multiple blockers.

The Lady Cardinals also hurt themselves with a lack of communication at times as playable balls found their way to the floor. The offense never quite got on track, either, as a net violation and back-to-back missed attacks made the score 22-12.

Monica Jaroszewicz dropped a short attack past two blockers, and made a nice stuff-block to spark a five-point streak by the Lady Cardinals, but Bianco Julio put the opening game away with a kill through a double-block.

“Jefferson is a really nice team, but we made them look a lot better than they are,” said Copeland. “About 45 of their 90 points were scored on errors by our team from hitting, passing, serve receiving, and simply not communicating.”

The Lady Cardinals executed their best series of attacks early in game two, but could not sustain the momentum. A handful of questionable calls by the officials only served to make the comeback bid tougher.

Three consecutive well-placed shots by Tiara Boyer, Lora Dickey and Jaroszewicz helped MAC achieve an early 7-7 tie. A spike by Boyer on the next point was clearly deflected before falling wide, but Jefferson was awarded the point.

The dejected Lady Cardinals watched the following five points slip away with two coming on aces by Lindsey Nagl that MAC reacted late to. An excellent stuff-block by Andrea Rodriquez pushed Jefferson to an 18-10 lead.

Strong digs by Jessica Murdick and Jennifer Gabrian helped MAC piece together a four-point run on missed attacks by the Lady Vikings. Jefferson caught another break when a double-contact was overlooked before a kill made it 28-25.

Jaroszewicz scored through a block and Dickey made a strong rejection for a point to bring the Lady Cardinals to within 29-27, but Amanda Essner punched down an attack to put Jefferson ahead by two games.

Dickey assisted on two straight stuff-blocks to highlight the early stages of game three for Mineral Area, but a series of missed Lady Cardinal attacks helped the home team gradually pull away again.

Rodriquez delivered a blistering kill from the middle that nearly knocked down a MAC defender, and Questel ripped another down the line to help produce a 21-14 margin.

Wisdom responded with an attack down the line and Chaumone Robinson-Streater scored with a quick redirection for the Lady Cardinals, but the result was never in doubt down the stretch.

“The girls were pumped about this match last night,” added Copeland, “but the energy was gone three points into the match, and they never could find it again.”

Jaroszewicz led MAC with 10 kills was part of four blocks. Boyer added seven kills and Wisdom chipped in four, along with a team-high 19 digs. Gabrian had 14 digs and 19 assists, while Murdick made nine digs. Dickey finished with one solo block and assisted on five others.

Julio led the Jefferson attack with 12 kills and Questel charted 10.

MAC is currently mired in a three-match losing streak, but will look to end it this weekend at the State Fair Tournament.

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