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MONROE—A night after falling to Carroll on the road, the Lady Jets used what they had learned to frustrate the visiting Heritage Patriots at the Hangar on Tuesday night earning a sweep in their ACAC opener 25-23, 25-18, 26-24.
A few errors early on in the first set gave the Pats some life as the Heritage squad kept the set close throughout. The opening set featured nine ties with the final coming at 23-23.
Heritage led 17-12 at one point by Abbey Lichtle served up an ace during a four-point barrage by AC to bring the game back within one point.
An attack error by Heritage tied the game at 22-22, then Whitney Peterson stroked a big hit to the center of the Pats' defense giving AC the lead. After the Patriots got the sideout they needed to tie the game, a service error made it 24-23 AC. Peterson would come through in the clutch once again pounding home the final point giving the Lady Jets the opening set.
"The last few matches we haven't started out strong but we always come back and fight the rest of the night so I guess that's our new style. I can't really have a problem when we win," AC coach Ashley Beard commented after the game explaining the slow start.
Whatever sleepy tendencies the Jets showed in set one went away in the second set. Like set one, the teams played tight to a 3-3 tie but Haley Gross went off in the following rotation taking advantage of the open middle with three kills and a block at the net during a 6-0 run that made it 9-3. Abby Snyder had two kills in a row sandwiched between the Gross points.
The Jets would keep the lead going when Jenni Baumer nailed a kill down the line to make it 13-5, the largest advantage of the match for either team. The Patriots would claw back slowly from that point scoring a 10-3 run on the strength of the Hoffman sisters Lauren and Haley at the net finding a few holes in the block.
The game would eventually be tied at 16-16 but the run seemed to sap the energy from the Patriots who did not get over the hump to take the lead. AC scored the next four points to lead 20-16 behind another stellar serving set from Lichtle who served up another of her three aces on the night.