FREDERICKTOWN — A trio of girls scored in double figures for the Fredericktown Freddies (12-4, 9-2 Mid-Buckeye Conference) as they swept the visiting Utica Redskins, 25-15, 25-13, 25-19 in Tuesday’s volleyball match.
Junior Tierany Smith (12 points, 12 assists, four kills, three digs, one block), senior Taylor Keener (11 points, 18 assists and six digs) and senior Hayley Derikito (11 points, three kills, five digs and a pair of blocks) led the Freddies past a Utica team that just wouldn’t lay down.
“We’ve been hearing some good things about Utica,” said Fredericktown coach Marilyn Rutherford. “We were expecting a much improved team. They made some nice little runs there, but we built a lead and we were able to hold it.”
The scrappy Utica (9-9, 5-6 MBC) defense, led by Kelly Overton (14 digs), battled back at times. It was their sputtering offense that just couldn’t get it going. When Utica did come up with a great volley, Fredericktown was able to weather the storm.
“That feels really good,” said Rutherford. “It really shows us where we are at this point of the season. The girls look a little more comfortable with that and not quite so tense. It’s good, seeing that we could win some of those volleys.”
“When we want to play defense, we play pretty decent defense,” said Utica coach Laurie Londot. “We weren’t able to hit the ball on the court. (Offensively) I honestly think that was our poorest hitting of the season. We’ve been doing pretty well there. We couldn’t find the floor. Nothing was working.”
Fredericktown will have a showdown with the tough East Knox Bulldogs on Thursday. The Bulldogs will be looking to get even for their earlier loss to the Freddies this season. The Utica Redskins will face MBC-leading Centerburg,
“Our girls will need to decide how they want to finish the season,” said Londot. “Do they want to play hard or do they want to give up?”
Coaches say the Freddies, whose only two conference losses are to Centerburg this year, have played better as the season goes on.
“The improvement is in our passing,” said Rutherford. “The setter seemed to have a few choices of what she wanted to do with the ball and the hitter. That’s good to see at this point in the season. It sort of hurts us to lose two games to Centerburg but you have to put that behind you, try to step up, do what you can with the rest of the league and do well in the tournaments.”