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  • Val T.

Kouskousakis has 6 kills, but Southwood sweeps Rochester

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Alexa Kouskousakis had six kills, 12 digs and eight assists, but the Rochester volleyball team lost a Three Rivers Conference home match to Southwood 25-15, 25-14, 25-19 on Sept. 8.

Lillee Lett, a sophomore who shares setting duties with Kouskousakis, added four kills, 12 digs and six assists. Senior libero Rily Holloway had nine digs and 18 serves received.

“Our defense just wasn’t super tonight,” Rochester coach Erin Leap said. “Everything was just off enough for it to just be kind of chaos. I’d like to do that one over.”

Southwood went on an 8-2 run to pull away in the first game and build a 21-13 lead. An Audrey Bolinger kill off the block and a kill error by Southwood’s Carley Whitesel got Rochester back within 21-15, but Southwood won the last four points, including back-to-back aces from Grace Drake.

Southwood went on an 8-1 run after a Lett kill in Game 2 to open an 18-9 lead. Rochester hung within 20-13 after a Drake serve into the net, but Southwood closed the game with a 5-1 run.

Rochester’s best stretch of play might have happened in Game 3 when a Kouskousakis kill off the block was followed by a Freant kill and a Kouskousakis deep tip to give the Lady Zs a 6-4 lead.

They were tied at 15 after a Southwood double hit and trailed only 18-17 after a Kennedy Leap stuff block that was set up by an extraordinary Kouskousakis dig.

But Southwood scored five straight points to bolster their lead to 23-17 with help from two Ella Haupert aces.

The match ended on a Whitesel kill after a Rochester overpass.

“They definitely had more height than us, and they were able to attack more than we were,” coach Leap said. “They had really good hitters.”

That might have been a symbolic ending: Southwood had eight aces while Rochester had only one, which came from Kouskousakis in the second game.

“I feel like our serves, maybe they didn’t go down for an ace, but I do feel like there were several serves that they were maybe not able to be in transition,” coach Leap said.

His team's passing success seemed to surprise Southwood coach Tom Finicle.

“We got hit with the ball more than we passed,” Finicle quipped. “It wasn’t terrible.”

Finicle also praised Rochester’s effort and said that is a trademark of Rochester’s teams. Finicle’s tenure at Southwood goes back to the 1980s and includes Leap’s time as a Rochester player in the 1990s.

“They’ve got some nice players,” Finicle said. “They do a lot of things. They were scrappy as snot. They’ve always been really scrappy. They make a lot of plays on balls, and that’s a tribute to Erin. … They play hard for her.”

Southwood def. Rochester, 25-15, 25-14, 25-19

Rochester stats

Kylie Coleman – 3 kills, 1 block, 1 dig, 2 serves received; Kennedy Leap – 2 kills, 1 block, 2 digs; Alexa Kouskousakis – 6 kills, 1 ace, 1 block, 12 digs, 8 assists, 5 serves received; Lillee Lett – 4 kills. 12 digs, 6 assists, 10 serves received; Audrey Bolinger – 3 kills, 2 blocks; Kylee Freant – 2 blocks, 2 digs, 1 assist; Rily Holloway – 9 digs, 18 serves received; Emma Sells – 5 digs, 8 serves received; Darah Strasser – 3 digs, 3 serves received; Mia Howdeshell – 5 digs, 10 serves received

JV: Rochester def. Southwood, 25-24, 25-13

Rochester JV stats

Darah Strasser – 4 kills, 9 digs; Keyton Doran – 4 kills; Rylee Clevenger – 2 aces 10 serves received; Mia Howdeshell – 2 aces, 6 assists; Haley Durkes – 6 assists


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