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Lady Ace Volleyball fall in tough week against Princeton and Cisne

September 23, 2018

MOUNT CARMEL, Ill. -- With the opportunity to rise back above .500, Mount Carmel volleyball faltered, dropping tough losses to Princeton and Cisne on Tuesday and Thursday.

In the Princeton match, though it was close all three sets, the Lady Aces just couldn’t muster up the rally to overtake the Tigers. Starting in the first set, the two teams were tied at 17 -- Princeton capitalized down the stretch, however, ending the set on an 8-4 run to win the set 25-21.

Much similarly in the second set, it was back and forth throughout the set and tied as late at 16-16. Again though, the Tigers gathered a late run, this one 9-3 in the Tigers’ favor to win the set 25-19 for the two set advantage.

The script remained the same again in the third set, with another 16-16 tie and Princeton responding with a 9-2 run to close it out and take the match.

Junior Madeline Goldman led the Lady Aces in kills (six), junior Kassidy Drone in assists (18), sophomore Allie McPherson in blocks (four) and junior Addie Drone in digs (10) in the losing effort.

Following their loss to the Tigers, coach Kelsey Beckerman’s Lady Aces had an opportunity to bounce back against Cisne, but came out of the gate sluggish, committing many unforced errors and falling 25-18 in the first set.

“We gave up 14 points, in a game like that, I think the score was 20 something to 16,” coach Beckerman spoke of the Lady Aces’ errors in the first set. “I asked them in a timeout, 16 plus nine, do the math. They said 25. We had nine hitting errors. I’m glad that we’re hitting the ball but we just have to be able to perfect it to where we’re hitting the ball.”

For volleyball fans, the second set was a thrill to spectate. The two teams battled it out after Mount Carmel regained their composure following the first set. The teams continued to trade leads and some clutch moments helped the Lady Aces down the stretch. Mt. Carmel fell behind 20-16 late, but rallied with four straight points to force a Cisne timeout and even the margin. Shortly after, with the match on the line and the Mt. Carmel crowd coming alive, McPherson came up with a crucial kill to tie it up. With the game tied at 26, Goldman cashed in a clutch ace to take a 27-26 lead and scored the final point to take the second set 28-26.

“There were a lot of long rallies in that set and we were fortunate to come out of there with a point,” coach Beckerman spoke of the second set. “Playing in this kind of heat and long rallies like that, I was really proud of how our girls did battle back from that. We definitely clicked more tonight than we did Tuesday night, so that was exciting to see. We still just have some little things to work on.”

Much of the final set went similarly to the second set, with the Lady Aces and Cisne battling it out until the score was tied at 16. After the exciting stretch they just couldn’t maintain the momentum and seemed to relapse similar to the first set, falling 25-20 in the final set and giving the match to Cisne 2-1.

“In the third set it felt like we were starting to play timid and tipping the ball again,” coach Beckerman said. “I just keep harping on, we have people who can hit the ball, so let’s see that happen.”

The errors the Lady Aces are committing are very fixable, much of them being mental lapses or indecisiveness, but coach Beckerman hopes to see her squad improve after the frustrating week.

“We can’t get timid, we can’t start tipping the ball because we think that’s the safe way or we don’t want to be the one to make a mistake,” coach Beckerman said. “We still have to hit the ball, we still have to swing because we have people that are very capable of doing that. That’s the game we need to play, we don’t need to play what the other side of the net is playing, we need to play our game.”

They’ll have a few opportunities to bounce back, as they have three matches next week, the first coming on Monday, Sept. 24 at a tough 12-3 Fairfield team. The freshman start the day at 5:30 p.m., followed by the JV at 6:15 p.m. and varsity at 7:15 p.m.

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