The Dons took on the Clayton Valley Ugly Eagles on Thursday night, and they figured they would have a battle on their hands. The Eagles feature a tall, athletic front line and some high jumpers who can pound the ball. But, the Dons have some players too, and sure enough it was a fantastic, tightly contested match.
In set one, CV came out serving tough, and the Dons found themselves in a hole, 3-10. Our team re-grouped with some tough serving and defense of their own. A four point run by Erin Meade, a three point run by Carly Coffee, and a nice flying dink by Elena Needs helped the Dons work the score to 13-13. After another nice kill through the Eagles block by Elena, Sydney Sowarby put more pressure on the Clayton defense with some tough serves. Katelyn Olin pounded one from the middle spot to run it to 17-16 Dons. The score was tied 20-20 when things got a little dicey for our girls, and the found themselves down 20-22. A nice set my Erin Meade lead to another tip by Elena to get it to 23-23 and a time out by CV. Unfortunately, the Eagles’ coach said the right thing in the huddle, and they scored a quick two points to take the set, 25-23.
In set two, Lauren Davis started the party with a huge swing, and Annika Olson sent a message with a nice roof on the Eagles’ opposite hitter, resulting in a 4-1 Dons edge. Clayton answered with some great kills by their middle and pins, which we all knew would happen eventually. The Eagles were soon up 10-14 and feeling really good about it. Senior Annika Olson had seen enough, and came through with another big block, and an overpass slam, 13-14. Seniors Lauren Davis and Aisha Mohanty got the message as well, combining for two nice sets and rather loud kills, 15-16. Tate Huisingh flummoxed the Eagles D with a nice tip, then Erin Meade came to the service line and delivered a timely ace, resulting in a time out for CV at 18-16 Dons. This was going to be close. 19-19, then Elena gets a nice set from Erin and pounds one off the block. 20-19. 20 all. Katelyn (‘she’s a sophomore’) Olin then delivered another overpass spike to make it 22-20 Dons. Eagles get two back, 22-22. Then 23-23, after another Elena Needs hit. Nice set Mohanty to Olin, 24-23! They hit long on set point, 25-23 Dons!
Now we go to the deciding set. (author in play-by-play mode now, slowly but sure losing all composure): After a nice spike, then an ace by Elena, its 2-2. Some scrambled play follows, then Lauren Davis provides a big block off the face of the defender, 4-4. Erin Meade serves another ace. Annika Olson another slam. But CV has game, 7-8. Katelyn Olin roofs one, 8-8. Carly Coffee comes in with her famous short floater and aces the Eagles twice in a row! They need to do some substituting to combat that serve! Now 12-8 after a nice hit by sophomore Maya Paul. A crazy point finished with a put away to an open spot by Carly, now 13-9, time out CV. Crunch time! A quick set by Meade to Olin, 14-10. Eagles soaring again, Dons holding on to a 15-14 lead. Davis/Olin block, 16-15. 17 all. Shorty ace number three for Carly! And another one! Somewhere, Roger from PacRim VC is smiling. Makenzie Sauer is now pressuring the Eagles from the outside, and they are firmly on their back foot (talon? claw? you get it). Katelyn Olin with a crafty shot makes it 22-19 Dons. Lauren Davis goes cross court for 23-21. 23 all now, this won’t be easy! BIG hit by Olson, 24-23. 24 all now! Annika Olson will NOT go out like this, and she AGAIN puts the Dons up by one. Match point, and the Eagles hit into the net…Dons win! 26-24. High fives ensue…Dons love.
Next match – at Alhambra on Wednesday! Go Dons.