PARK HILLS – The Mineral Area volleyball team could not sustain its early momentum at home against 10th-ranked Indian Hills on Tuesday night.
Mariana Rodrigues slammed 14 kills on a combination of outside attacks, and the Warriors dominated the latter stages of the final two sets to prevail 25-21, 25-17, 25-17.
Nikoleta Kandic and Gabriela Cavalcante added seven kills apiece, and middle Ana Nunes provided four blocks as superior passing gave Indian Hills (21-3) an edge.
Alayna Rooks knocked down nine kills and Baylie Petry connected on seven for Mineral Area (13-6), which claimed the first long rally of the action.
Blair Busenbark and Emily Greif used sudden reaction on digs near the surface, and Solymar Santos deflected an angled kill off the tape and a defender for a 3-3 tie in game one.
Petry crushed a left-side swing, setter Laura Danezzi beat a taller foe to the ball on a joust, and Slivia Bonsanti helped take another point with a block as MAC surged ahead 12-5.
Cavalcante answered with two kill on the next rotation after the Warriors called a timeout, and the visitors pulled to within 15-14 on a stuff-block by Rodrigues.
Kaylee Portell kept the Cardinals ahead with a middle spike, but Indian Hills eventually caught up and regained a 22-20 advantage on four costly errors.
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Setter Cassia Lemos notched aces on two shanked passes after Mineral Area gave the two previous points away on an errant serve and net violation.
Rodrigues found the middle of the floor with a timely roll shot, and converted her fourth kill on set point after Indian Hills received a free ball.
Two aces from Marieke Zink followed kills by Rooks during a 4-0 spurt that spotted the Cardinals a brief lead at 8-7 in game two.
But the Warriors stretched a 14-12 margin to 19-12 with Rodrigues on the front row. Lemos broke a 10-10 tie in game three with a solo block, and Indian Hills would not trail again.
Greif finished with 12 digs, and Zink compiled 11 assists with eight digs for the Cardinals, who switched the setter role from Laura Danezzi to Zink late in the second game.
Zink clicked on four assists to Petry early in the final stanza. Danezzi totaled 13 assists plus seven digs, and was able to start after rolling an ankle in her previous match against Lake Land.
Portell contributed five kills and two blocks for MAC, which travels to Council Bluffs, Iowa this weekend for four more matches.