JV hosted the Union Farmers at home in a 4 vs. 5 matchup and the Farmers came away with the 2-1 win by 16-25, 25-23, 18-25.
The first 5 and 1/2 rotations proved that this was going to be a true 4v5 matchup as both squads were in a tight set with the score 11-9 Union. But then the Farmers stepped up on the serve and broke the Hilltopper receive formation with a 6-0 run that had the visiting squad up 18-9. The rest of set 1 was academic as the teams traded points the rest of the way but that run was the difference as the Top dropped set 1 25-16.
Set 2 began very auspiciously for the Hilltoppers as they received serve to start the set and promptly trailed 3-0. Things did not seem to get better over the next 3 rotations and the Summit players saw the Union serving rotation 4 end with the home team trailing 11-4 by the change of serve. Things looked bleak. And then Ally Liguori serves a game saving run of 6 points that got SHS back in the match at 10-12. The Liguori run sparked the Hilltoppers, changed momentum and the next rotation finally flipped the score with Kate Cooper giving the home side a 5-0 run that had Summit up 16-13 and 18-13 after 6 rotations. Union outscored the Hilltoppers 8-3 over the next 3 rotations and the score was knotted at 21 with Summit’s county run on the line. But Liguori stepped up again under tremendous pressure and delivered with 2 service points that had the Top at the doorstep of a game-saving set win at 24-21. Union fought back to break serve and hit for an ace to make the score 24-23 but the Hilltoppers closed it out 25-23 to tie the match 1-1.
The deciding set was a tale of 2 rotations and unfortunately, the Hilltoppers were on the short end of both. Union ran a 7-0 run that had the visitors up 11-1 at the end of 2 rotations and although SHS had cut the lead the lead to 12-5 after their serve in rotation 4, it was the Farmers’ serving rotation that killed any hope of a comeback with a 5-0 run that pushed the lead to 18-5. Score was 21-10 after 6 rotations and 23-15 after 8 rotations but Summit just did not have enough points to give and soon fell 18-25 to end their county run. JV drops to 14-2.
Varsity took the walk to Kent Place to face off against the #12 ranked team in the state. The task was massive but the confidence in the Summit offense was as well. The Top started really well getting kills by Julia Nardino and Vivian Roberts as well as a timely ace by Hope Basaman to take an early 3-1 lead. SHS knew things would get tight and they would face adversity but early on it was clear the team was up to the task. The Maroon and Black saw the Dragons fight back and take a 5-4 lead but Eva Oberhuber had a dump kill and SHS forced a Dragon return error off a Torie MacArthur serve and both squads were knotted up at 6. The Dragons took an 8-6 lead but Allison Wauters delivered a kill to zone 5 that had Summit within 1 at 8-7. KP then ran off 3 quick points from a kill, an ace and a free ball error by the Top forcing Coach Martins into a TO. Another hitting error by the Summit crew had the team down 12-7 and despite a service break, SHS could not capitalize and suffered through another 4-0 run forcing a second TO with the Hilltoppers down 16-8. The Dragons continued to score after the time-out and with the lead at 18-8, a blocking error by KP finally ended the run. Summit could not muster much off their serve and finished the set on the wrong end of a 7-3 run that, despite a great kill by Roberts in the mix, it was not enough to overmatch the Dragons.
The subsequent set saw the KP Dragons serve first and again, early on, the Hilltoppers were able to compete with the #12 team. Sarah Noa passed up a perfect ball that Roberts drove to zone 1 for a kill and Basaman followed up with an ace. Two hitting errors by the Dragons and a Nardino ace had the visitors up 5-1 and feeling good about themselves. But yet again the Kent Place squad used their serving attack to rattle off a 5-0 run and it wasn’t until a serving error that the Hilltoppers got the ball back at 6-6. A MacArthur serve followed that had the Dragons in a little bit of trouble and forced another hitting error to get SHS a 7-6 lead. But a 5-1 run flipped the score and momentum and despite the Summit squad being down only 11-8, the trend line was obvious, the Dragons could score in bunches against some of the Hilltopper rotations. And so they did in the very next rotation with a 14-0 run that the Hilltoppers were unable to break to wrap up the set.
Summit drops to 12-4.