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Despite dropping the first set, Ridgway regrouped Thursday night to top St. Marys 3-1 (12-25, 25-20, 25-13, 25-14) to move to 5-0 in regular season play.
â€śWe started off slow [Thursday] and St. Marys has some really nice hard hitters,â€ť said Ridgway head girls varsity volleyball coach Janet Redmond. â€śThey had some really good serves that really caught us off guard, we just couldnâ€™t return them.
â€śWe had some problems with that and we just didnâ€™t move.â€ť
Ridgway built an early 7-5 lead after a kill from senior Nicole Breier but after that, the Lady Elkers started to have severe serve-receive issues that plagued the home team. St. Marys rattled off 10 straight points, many of them Ridgway errors, to take control of the first game.
â€śThere were a lot of errors and thatâ€™s what it comes down to when youâ€™re trying to win the game,â€ť Redmond said. â€śWe were lucky that we regrouped and had Nicole [Breier] put some balls down.
â€ś[Breier] is coming back well and her arm is starting to feel better.â€ť
The Lady Elkers started off on the wrong foot in the second game with with three errors and more serve-receive trouble before junior Katie Oknefski got Ridgway back on track to cut the deficit to 4-1. Ridgway battled back to 11-all after consecutive kills from Oknefski.
Kills from St. Marysâ€™ Taylor Bellina and Chelsie Gaton cut the lead to 17-16 but a point from Ridgwayâ€™s Sarah McClain and ace from Amanda Shilk extended the lead to 19-16. A tip from Oknefski and hit from Breier that sailed past the back row into no-manâ€™s land gave Ridgway a 4-point cushion at 21-17.
A block by Oknefski and net violation gave Ridgway the 25-20 game and knotted the score at 1-1.
The Lady Elkers finally got it right in the third game coming out with a 9-3 advantage after two aces from Oknefski, a kill from Breier to make it 7-3, and a tip at the net from Breier to set the tone.
The visitors would battle back to within two points but would not get any closer. A kill from Bellina and subsequent ace from Sami Hanes seemed to tip the balance but the Lady Elkers regrouped and built an 8-point gap down the stretch to go up 20-12. A point from Breier extended the lead to 22-12 and she followed that up for an ace at 23-13 and a kill to take the game at 25-13 and a two games to one lead.
The fourth game was evenly-matched early on before a point from Breier shifted the score to Ridgway, 9-8. St. Marys would not get any closer.
Taking advantage of several errors down the stretch, Breier came up with two key blocks at 13-9 and 15-9 and later launched a shot past the back row to take an 18-11 advantage.
Ridgway outscored the visitors 7-3 down the stretch for a 3-1 victory to preserve their unblemished mark.
â€śMaybe itâ€™s because we are 5-0, I donâ€™t know, but Iâ€™m hoping being down 1-0 sort of woke them up a little bit,â€ť Redmond said. â€śEvery team is different and I donâ€™t care what our record is. You have to go out and give 110 percent every single time that you get out on that court.
â€śYou donâ€™t think about anything else, itâ€™s just that game. Either way, hats off to St. Marys because they are improving and really gave us a run for our money.â€ť