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Morning Sun
  • Vikings split at home

  • The Northeast volleyball team showed all the signs of a young, inexperienced team during a home triangular Tuesday night against Three Rivers League foes Altoona-Midway and Pleasanton.

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  • The Northeast volleyball team showed all the signs of a young, inexperienced team during a home triangular Tuesday night against Three Rivers League foes Altoona-Midway and Pleasanton.
    Northeast would go on long runs — good and bad — during its 2-1 win over Altoona-Midway (25-22, 13-25, 25-23) and its 2-0 loss to Pleasanton (25-10, 25-23).
    For example, Northeast took an 18-6 lead in the first set against Altoona-Midway but had to hold on for a 25-22 score. The Jets enjoyed a 18-3 run in the middle set and forced a decisive set with a 25-13 score. Northeast recovered during the final set and won 25-23, scoring the last three points after falling behind 23-22 with the match on the line.
    Northeast first-year head coach Liz Wood emphasized YOU CAN DO IT during several huddle sessions with her players.
    “That’s one of our mottos,” Wood said. “You have to believe to achieve and the biggest part is just finding the confidence in the girls because we are young, for them to believe they can compete with these girls as long as they work hard, they communicate and they do the little things. I feel like if we can do those things, we can compete.”
    Northeast features a nine-player roster with two seniors (Laci Scholes, Laila Schlee) and two juniors (Morgan Maransani, Toni Zibert).
    “We have two seniors,” Wood said. “Our setter didn’t even play last year (Schlee), the other (Scholes) I don’t know if she saw a lot of court time last year. Toni and Morgan came up halfway through the year last year and they’re juniors. Toni’s had the experience but there’s not a whole lot of experience.”
    Zibert led Northeast offensively against Altoona-Midway with four kills and Schlee distributed 11 assists. Maransani served a team-high seven aces and JayCie Hines added six digs.
    After gaining an early 3-1 lead on Pleasanton in the first set, highlighted by two aces from Scholes, the Blu-Jays enjoyed runs of 5-0, 3-0, 3-0, 3-0 and 8-0 to build to a 25-10 first set. During that 8-0 spurt, Pleasanton senior Lauren Baker served four aces, including three in a row.
    Pleasanton continued its barrage in the second, taking a 16-6 lead at one point. However, the Vikings parlayed a pair of 5-0 runs into cutting the Blu-Jay lead to 23-22 late in the match. Northeast fought off a match point but freshman Sydney Dent closed out the night with a kill.
    “That’s one of those little things,” Wood said of communication breakdowns costing Northeast. “There’s no excuse for a ball dropping in-between us. That’s what I keep saying, ‘If we communicate and we have that energy, you play better,’ especially in the game of volleyball. You have to have that energy and that enthusiasm.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Service aces helped Northeast beat Altoona-Midway and aided in the second-set comeback against Pleasanton.
    “We did a much better job serving the ball at times,” Wood said. “We’re inconsistent but we did a better job. There’s times we get some great aces.”
    Wood gave her players credit for giving Pleasanton a fight in the final set.
    “I was proud of the girls,” Wood said. “They fought against Pleasanton. I think at one point we were down 10 (16-6) and we came back and we fought. That’s what I kept telling them about trying to believe. They started to think they could it and they started taking it possession-by-possession. I was proud of them for fighting back but it’s about getting consistency every match.”
    Zibert led Northeast with five kills and three aces against Pleasanton and Scholes added three aces. Four of these aces happened in the Northeast rally.
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