Charger hitters scramble AC at the net; Carroll wins 3-1
FORT WAYNE—A spirited third set by the Lady Jets was not enough to salvage a faulty first two frames as Adams Central fell 3-1 on the road at Carroll Monday night, 25-18, 25-19, 25-15, 25-16.
The Chargers, one of Bellmont's fiercest rivals from 4A, looked sharp in their opening first set jumping out to a 9-2 start before the Lady Jets managed their first kill of the game off the hands of Abbey Lichtle. A combination of some out of character errors by AC and Carroll's quick start were the culprits.
It was 12-4 at one point before a big block from Haley Gross and a miscue from Carroll off of a stellar Lichtle serve made it 12-6.
The hole proved to be too great to overcome for the Jets as the lead lingered around 6-7 points for much of the first frame. The Chargers led 21-13 before AC made their final run of the opening stanza with four straight points starting with a Jenni Baumer tip kill, then Gross smashing a point down and a pair of Baumer aces making it 21-17.
Carroll would close out the set, however, with four of the final five points.
The second set would be more a testament of the hitters from Carroll as the Lady Jets sharpened their game a bit but still found themselves down 8-1. Four of the first eight points for the Chargers belonged to heavy-hitting, 6'2'' sophomore Jacqueline Quade.
"Carroll is just a stacked team," AC coach Ashley Beard praised of her opponents. "They have so many good hitters for them and it really made it tough to block and we had some players floating out there at times because of it."
AC would claw back into the set once again but slowly with a kill by Gross at 13-5 bringing the Jets within eight again. Carroll would push their biggest lead of the match, however, at 20-10.
The Lady Jets would suffer from "too little, too late" at the end of set two facing a 22-14 score before nabbing five of the final eight points running out of time and falling behind 2-0 in the set score.
Down to their final set, coach Beard made some drastic changes to the on-court look of the Jets moving former libero Abby Snyder back to her normal spot donning the special shirt and directing the defense. The move also included placing setter Madi Schwartz on the outside for some extra fire power and bringing in some fresh faces off of the bench including junior Meghan Manley, and sophomores Kara Keller and Anna Burkhart.
Coach Beard explained her decision for the third set, "We've been wanting to get to that 6-2 set all season long but it just hasn't developed for us quite yet. Tonight it looked to be heading in the right direction."
According to the AC coach, a 6-2 set means always having three hitters at the net with the setter coming from the back row.
The result was immediate for the Jets as Lichtle started the set with a block at the net and AC led 3-0 out of the gate. AC left a bump to the setter long with Quade taking advantage slamming it straight down on the Lady Jet side for Carroll's first point.
The lead would balloon, however, to a 10-5 lead with Whitney Peterson winning a battle at the net earning a tip kill. The play would be a great summary of the third game as AC controlled the net thoroughly with great back row support from Snyder, Keller, Burkhart and Liz Luginbill.
A Manley ace and a Gross kill pushed the lead to 18-8 forcing a Carroll timeout but the damage was done. The teams would split 7-7 the rest of the way giving AC the set.
"We made a lot of errors in the first two sets," coach Beard explained. "That third game was pretty good. We really took it to them. We made a switch that game and it worked out pretty well with Keller, Manley, and Burkhart really stepping up for us."