Volleyball: Clear Springs tops Clear Lake for 24-6A lead
It has to be a comforting feeling for the Clear Springs volleyball squad to know that it’s leading District 24-6A and the Lady Chargers’ best product still hasn’t seen the court.
Such was the case Tuesday night when Clear Springs started a bit slow, but recovered to take a 25-23, 25-14, 25-14 win over Clear Lake at Krueger Fieldhouse.
The triumph improved the Lady Chargers (25-9) to 5-0 in district with a crucial match coming up Friday against Clear Creek. With Clear Falls’ win over Creek Tuesday, the Lady Chargers have a half-game lead on the Lady Knights.
Last week versus Dickinson, Clear Springs dropped the first two sets before handily winning the final three.
“Coach (Shannon McClellen) told us to start off with more energy instead of waiting,” Springs junior outside hitter Haley Moses said. “I felt like in that first set, we didn’t do that. In the second and third set, we did.
“It’s a mindset. We come in thinking ‘Oh, we should beat this team’, and then we don’t play hard, when we should be thinking to cream them. We’re losing a lot of easy points like when people go for the same ball…or not go for the same ball.
“We can get a lot better. The improvement won’t stop with us.”
Clear Lake led game one, 16-12, with a five-point run that included two kills from Clare Mills, a service winner from Libby Saunders, a kill from Rachel Dorsey and a Springs error.
The Lady Chargers battled back with two kills by Shiya Richardson, a service winner from Linsey Sackett and a kill from Kenadee Poye to help level the score at 17. Consecutive errors by Lake and a service winner from Avery Reynolds stretched the Springs advantage to 20-17.
The Lady Chargers eventually built a 24-21 cushion before Lake responded with winners from Saunders and Mills, but a serve into the net allowed Springs to escape with the first-game win.
In game two, Lake was within 12-11 after a kill from Brooke Braham, but Springs would score five straight points to take a comfortable 17-11 edge. Three of those points came on hitting errors from Lake.
The Lady Falcons pulled within 19-14, but Spring then reeled off the final six points of the set, which was finalized by a block winner from sophomore Alana Dawson.
In the third set, Lake found itself fighting an uphill battle all the way after Springs built an early 7-2 bulge. Poye had two kills in that spree while Moses and Richardson added one each.
The lead stretched to 18-9 with that trio doing much of the damage.
Lake’s Emma Norman along with Mills and Braham sprinkled in winners for the Lady Falcons, but they were too few and far between to prevent Springs from capturing a straight-sets win.
“At the end of the first set, we were within 24-23, and we still had an opportunity, we just couldn’t close,” Lake head coach Chanda Eager said.
“Afterward, we had every opportunity to come back. Springs definitely turned up their intensity, but I didn’t feel like (the first-set loss) took the wind out of our sails at all.
“We needed to be a little more solid in different areas of the game. There were several places where we made errors at inopportune times.”
Springs sophomore outside hitter Richardson knows opponents will be giving the Lady Chargers their best shot.
“Clear Lake came out really strong,” Richardson said. “The next set, we knew we had to have a lot of energy. We knew we had to serve tough and communicate well with each other.
“We’re playing pretty good, but we need to communicate better on the back row and in serve-receive.”
District 24-6A standings: 1. Clear Springs 5-0, 2. Clear Falls 5-1, 3. Clear Creek 4-1, 4. Clear Brook 2-3, 5. (tie) Dickinson 1-4, Clear Lake 1-4, 7. Alvin 0-5