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  • Val T.

Bolinger’s serving run in first set, Lett’s 13 kills highlight Lady Z sweep of Maconaquah


Sports Editor, RTC

Lilee Lett

The Rochester volleyball team played to win against visiting Maconaquah at the RHS gym Tuesday, according to coach Laneia Strasser.

That meant that facing three set points in the first set was not enough of an obstacle to stop them and that juniors Audrey Bolinger and Lilee Lett were there for all the momentum shifts.

Thanks to that serving run, a stuff block from Bolinger on match point that stanched a five-point Maconaquah run and a match-high 13 kills from Lett, the Lady Zs pulled out a 26-24, 25-23, 25-22 win to improve to 3-15 overall and 2-4 in the Three Rivers Conference.

Maconaquah fell to 6-15, 2-4.

The five-point run to end the first set started with a Lett kill. Then came a Bolinger ace. A Lett kill tied it at 24-all, and another Lett kill that libero Bailey Carson could only bat down with her left hand gave the Lady Zs a set point.

When Maconaquah freshman Delaney Betzner popped an attack past the baseline, Rochester had pulled out the set.

“Huge, huge,” coach Strasser said of the way the first set ended. “We talk about that all the time. It’s just five points. Break it out into the little game. That was the first time we didn’t play timid; we played aggressive. I say to them all the time you’ve got to keep swinging hard even when those swings are blocked or out. You’ve got to keep swinging hard, and they did, and they finished, and they came from behind and pulled that one out. That shows me that we’re getting some more experience, and we’re playing at a more mature level.”

In the second set, Rochester got crucial sideouts to hang on and capture the set. The first came when a Darah Strasser roll shot led to a Maconaquah lift and a 23-21 lead. Two points later, a Bolinger tip to the middle that was fumbled by the Maconaquah block made it 24-22. And two points after that, Lett took a set from Aubrey Wilson on the opposite side and placed a kill a foot inside the baseline to give Rochester a two-set lead.

“We need her firing on all cylinders,” coach Strasser said of Lett.

A Lett tip, a Lett kill and a Maconaquah miscommunication helped Rochester take a 19-15 lead in the third set. Maconaquah coach Jessica Metcalf called timeout, but Rochester would go on another three-point run that Ella Hake capped with a roll shot in the deep left corner to make it 22-16.

Two Strasser kills would give Rochester seven match points at 24-17. The Lady Braves would erase five of them before Bolinger ended it a stuff block.

“So good,” Bolinger said. “I think that we finally with Lillee coming back into the game, I think we finally all worked together, and we meshed together, and we were covering, and we were hitting, and we were blocking, and we were doing all the right things, and that block felt pretty good. Pretty good.”

Said coach Strasser: “We’re starting not to let the mental side of volleyball beat us.”

Sophomore middle hitter Avarie Montel had two kills and two blocks.

“Honestly, for me, I was really excited to see Avarie Montel click,” coach Strasser said. “That was exciting. She’s been working hard in practice, and it was good to see it all click for her.”

Junior Mia Howdeshell missed the match due to illness.

Lett also had 21 digs and 14 serves received. Darah Strasser had seven kills and 18 digs. Wilson had 21 digs to go with her team-high 29 assists.

In the back row, junior libero Rylee Clevenger had 16 digs and 21 serves received, and freshman Logyn Honkomp had nine digs and nine serves received.

Rochester def. Maconaquah, 26-24, 25-23, 25-22

Rochester stats

Ella Hake – 4 kills, 4 digs, 1 serve received; Darah Strasser – 7 kills, 2 aces, 18 digs, 3 assists, 12 serves received; Aubrey Wilson – 2 kills, 3 aces, 21 digs, 29 assists; Avarie Montel – 2 kills, 2 blocks; Lillee Lett – 13 kills, 21 digs, 14 serves received; Audrey Bolinger – 5 kills, 1 ace, 2 blocks, 2 digs, 1 assist; Rylee Clevenger – 1 ace, 16 digs, 21 serves received; Logyn Honkomp – 9 digs, 9 serves received

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