MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jacket girls volleyball team came out flat against their Capital Division rival Olentangy Orange and were not able to recover, losing, 25-14, 25-23, 20-25, 25-21, on Tuesday evening.
“We killed ourselves with mistakes,” said Mount Vernon coach Ericka Feick. “We worked on ball control all year, but we didn’t have it with our passing. Overall it was ball control that we couldn’t get it together.”
It wasn’t until midway through the second game that the Jackets came alive with Melissa Hall serving. Down 15-11, Mount Vernon (0-1, 0-1 Ohio Capital Conference) surged ahead 19-15, only to lose Game 2, 25-23. The Jackets’ spurt of momentum carried them through Game 3. It was Hall who was serving when the Jackets tied Game 3 at 16-16. With Alyssa Duncan (44 sets, six assists) serving, Mount Vernon took the lead in Game 3, 23-19. Duncan had an ace and her teammate Sarah Tracey had a kill off a set by team captain Katie Reynolds (42 sets, 11 assists) en route to a Game 3 win. Reynolds was 11-for-11 serving for the match.
“We just became a little bit more consistent and we weren’t trying to be power hitters,” said Feick. “We were just trying to get it in play. We warmed up a bit once we started to get it in play and put a little bit of power underneath it. The team that gets it over the net is going to win and we weren’t doing that in the beginning, so that was the major change. They just got it in play.”
In the fourth game, the Jackets tied it up at 16 with Tracey serving. The Pioneers (1-0, 1-0 OCC), however, surged ahead 19-16 with Hayley Mucha serving and they went on to win Game 4 and the match.
“It our first game,” said Feick. “We have a long season ahead of us. I always tell them they deal with adversity and stick together as a team and focus in practice on the things they need to work on. I think that they hustled. All of our girls were all over the floor, diving and trying to do what I ask. They’re very coachable girls and that’s always a plus. They never gave up.”
Courtney Burke was 7-for-10 hitting for the Jackets. Teammate Tatianna Leis added 11 digs. Alex Miglin had 14 hits and four kills and Abree Green had 23 serve receives.
The Mount Vernon jayvee team lost to the Pioneers, 25-15, 20-25, 25-16, earlier in the evening. Jerdan Freshwater led Mount Vernon scorers with nine points and an ace. Teammate Maddie Montgomery had five points. Alyssa Crow had four points and Katie Arden had three points and a pair of aces.
The Mount Vernon freshmen defeated Orange, 17-25, 25-17, 25-13.