PREP VOLLEYBALL: Rebels take down Chargers in four sets

Photo by Brennen Rupp MCC’s Alyssa Groves goes up for a kill during their match against WWG on Tuesday.

SLAYTON – The Murray County Central Rebels didn’t let a slow start in the opening set stop them from defeating Westbrook-Walnut Grove, 3-1 at home Tuesday evening.

The Rebels looked to be in for a long night when they fell behind 5-0 in the opening set. That slow start didn’t phase the Rebels, as they came back to take the opening set, 25-19.

Vittoria Mazzoni led MCC’s attack in the opening set with five kills. Elise Rohrer chipped in with three kills.

WWG’s junior setter, Grace Woelber finished the first set with three assists and one ace.

MCC coach Kate Robinson said her team showed great resiliency during the opening set.

“It was just determination,” Robinson said. “They really wanted to win this in three. They have to have the right attitude and the right pace of play to do that right away. I think they got that mental picture of we need to step it up and we need to start raising the bar.”

WWG coach Jessica Laleman said her team struggled to handle MCC’s height at the net.

“It was a tough loss,” Laleman said. “Alyssa Groves is a really tall hitter. Trying to stop that with our shorter front row was a difficult task for the team tonight.”

The Chargers answered back from a disappointing opening set to take the second set, 25-21. The Chargers finished the second set with four aces. Laleman said strong serving helped the Chargers win the second set.

“Our girls are learning to play a little more aggressive in the back row,” Laleman said. “We had some strong serves tonight.”

Woelber finished the set with three assists, three aces and two kills. Brittany Erickson recorded two kills.

Mazzoni led the Rebels with three kills. Alyssa Groves and Courtney Schmitz both chipped in with two kills.

It was all MCC in the third set. The Rebels jumped out to an 8-2 lead and never looked back en route to a 25-16 third set victory.

“I just saw a lot of improved communication,” Robinson said. “A big thing on our side of the court is the girls need to communicate within the play. That really improved tonight.”

Mazzoni once again led the Rebels with five kills. Robinson said Mazzoni has really stepped up her game.

“She has really fit that last puzzle piece for us,” Robinson said. “With a foreign exchange student you never know what you are going to get. She’s been a pleasant surprise. She’s just an all-around great player. She’s added a lot to our offense.”

Groves recorded four kills and two blocks for MCC. Danielle Kuball recorded two aces.

Woelber finished the third set with five assists for the Chargers. Lexi Herding recorded three kills.

The Rebels won the fourth set, 25-16 to win the match 3-1. Schmitz and Groves both finished the final set with three kills for MCC.

Erickson led the Chargers with two kills. Woelber finished with four assists.

With the win the Rebels improved to 6-4. They’ve now won four of their last five matches. They’ll be back in action on Thursday against the Fulda Raiders.

“We have parents night,” Robinson said. “We need to get some girls in and we are hoping to come away with a really good win.”

The loss drops the Chargers to 5-5 and extends their losing streak to five. They’ll look to break back into the win column Thursday against Hills-Beaver Creek.

“I would like to see our block closed more,” Laleman said. “I hope we can get our defense set up a little better.”

WWG 19 25 16 16

MCC 25 21 25 25

Individual Statistics

Serving (Ace): MCC (Beckmann 21-22 (3); Kuball 13-16 (3)); WWG (Woelber 20-22 (4)).

Kills: MCC (Mazzoni 15; Groves 11); WWG (Erickson 8).

Digs: MCC (Brown 17; Beckmann, Mazzoni 14); WWG (E. Wahl 19; Woelber 13).

Set Assists: MCC (Kuball 30; Wieneke 19); WWG (Woelber 20).

Blocks: MCC (Three with 2); WWG (Horkey, Bunting 2).