Leap nails 11 aces, but Rochester falls to Triton in 5
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
BOURBON — Rochester volleyball player Kennedy Leap’s serve seemingly picks up steam as it goes over the net, but it was host Triton that picked up steam in the final two games and beat the Lady Zs 25-20, 10-25, 17-25, 25-20, 15-11 at the Trojan Trench Monday.
Triton went on a six-point run to build a 13-6 lead in Game 5 with help from two aces from freshman Avery Viers.
Rochester came back with four points on an Alexa Kouskousakis kill, a kill error wide left from Triton sophomore Mya Davis, a tip from Kylie Coleman and a two-handed tip attempt from Lena Doll that fell well short of the net.
A Doll tip to the middle of the floor made it 14-10, but an acrobatic save off the net by Rochester’s Audrey Bolinger led to a Triton ding-dong play, keeping the match alive and convincing Triton coach Derek Eveland to call his last timeout.
But a shovel from libero Kinsey Atkins led to a Rochester din- dong play on match point.
Leap had nine kills to share team high honors with Kouskousakis and sophomore Lillee Lett. Kouskousakis and Lett, the team’s two setters, had 14 assists each.
But Leap’s serve might have been the greater story. Unleashing a low, heat-seeking serve that is barely high enough to eclipse the net but loaded with velocity and spin, she garnered 11 of Rochester’s 16 aces as a team.
“Nine times out of 10, I think it’s not going to go over,” coach Erin Leap said with a smile. “I have never received her serve, so I don’t know what it looks like on the other side, but it was good tonight.”
Leap had back-to-back aces in Game 3 to give Rochester a 23-15 lead. Then, she had four aces in a six-point span in Game 4 as Rochester cut what had been a 22-13 deficit to 22-20.
But a Leap service error, a lefty tip from Doll and a Bolinger kill try that sailed long forced a fifth game.
Senior libero Rily Holloway added 24 digs and 30 digs for Rochester. Kouskousakis had 22 digs and nine serves received, and Lett had 19 digs.
Mia Howdeshell also had a double-double with 10 digs and 14 serves received, including a dig on a missile from Triton’s Addyson Viers at 17-12 in the third game that eventually led to a Rochester point on an Addyson Viers kill attempt into the net.
Rochester coach Erin Leap said Triton started exploiting Rochester’s defense in the back left corner.
“They started just hitting that corner, and we just couldn’t get it covered,” coach Leap said. “That back corner just kind of gave us fits tonight. We were going to adjust our defense, but maybe we kept forgetting to adjust our defense. Normally, we have our setter pull up on what we call a down ball, but they kept going to that place, and we just couldn’t get there because it was a quick. It was just like a quick ball. We tried to fix that, and then we just didn’t.”
Triton led 18-17 in Game 1 before Triton went on a 5-1 run that Addyson Viers capped off with back-to-back kills. A Triton double-hit and a kill from Rochester’s Kylee Freant kept the game alive before an Addyson Viers roll shot clinched the game.
Rochester already led 8-6 in Game 2 before going on a 13-2 run. The run included two Holloway aces and one from Lett. Leap, Lett, Freant and Kouskousakis all had a kill during the run as well. Freant’s kill came from a seemingly impossible angle from the right side of the net as she veered in the direction of the scorer’s table to get the ball over.
A Triton double-hit, a Macie Hensley kill error, a Kennedy Leap service winner and a Leap ace tied the match.
A Kouskousakis cut shot and a Freant ace highlighted a 9-1 run in Game 3 as Rochester assumed a 13-7 lead.
Triton would get back within 16-12, but Howdeshell was not going to let Triton get closer.
However, the Lady Trojans gained a quick 8-3 edge in Game 4.
Addyson Viers finished with 17 kills, seven blocks, 15 assists, 17 digs and 19 serves received.
Still, coach Leap said they were able to slow her down a little bit.
“I feel like we’re playing good volleyball,” coach Leap said. “I know that we came away with the loss, but I hope that they’re gaining some confidence because they played really well tonight.”
A moment of silence was held prior to the match in remembrance of the late Argos volleyball player Emily Carr. Carr, 16, was killed in a car accident Saturday.
Triton def. Rochester, 25-20, 10-25, 17-25, 25-20, 15-11
Kylie Coleman – 3 kills, 1 ace, 1 block, 4 digs, 2 serves received; Kennedy Leap – 9 kills, 11 aces, 1 block, 3 digs, 1 serve received; Kylee Freant – 2 kills, 1 ace, 1 block, 3 digs, 4 serves received; Alexa Kouskousakis – 9 kills, 22 digs, 14 assists, 9 serves received; Lillee Lett – 9 kills, 19 digs, 14 assists, 4 serves received; Audrey Bolinger – 3 kills, 1 block, 5 digs; Rily Holloway – 3 aces, 24 digs, 30 serves received; Emma Sells – 4 digs, 3 serves received; Mia Howdeshell – 10 digs, 2 assists, 14 serves received