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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 26, 2018

MP volleyball drops SEC match

Panthers fall at home to Keokuk in four sets, Carrasco leads team in kills
Sep 14, 2018
Photo by: Marco Indri Avery Sutter gets up to spike the ball in the third set.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


Mt. Pleasant had a good start in their Southeast Conference game against Keokuk on Thursday night, but Keokuk battled back from a one-game deficit to upend the Panthers 3-1.

The Chiefs jumped out to a 3-1 lead to start the first set, but Mt. Pleasant was able to grab the lead at 4-3 and hold a steady lead throughout the beginning of the game.

The Panthers had as much as a five-point lead early on, when they took an 11-6 lead with three-straight points. Lydia Stewart started the run with a kill, Hannah Hess scored on a block and Ralyn Seberg capped off the run with an ace.

Keokuk battled back, due in part to a good start for junior hitter Isabel Vandenberg, but the Panthers held on tight and never gave Keokuk another lead.

The Chiefs did claw back to tie the game despite kills from Sadie Carrasco, Stewart and Hess in the middle of the game.

Keokuk tied the game on two different occasions, at 21-21 and 22-22, but Mt. Pleasant hung on.

Caroline Richtman came in clutch at the end of the game. Leading 23-22, Richtman stepped in to serve and scored the last two points, the first of which was an ace, and helped MPCHS clinch a 25-22 win.

Keokuk held a lead for the majority of the second set. Carrasco had a big performance, netting four kills and an ace in the set, but Keokuk won the game 25-18, closing it out with four-straight points.

With games tied 1-1, Keokuk jumped out to a big lead to start the third set. The Chiefs led 8-2 after 10 points, with both of Mt. Pleasant’s points coming on kills from Maggie Cristoforo.

The Panthers started to battle back with a kill by Avery Sutter. Stewart brought the lead down to 9-6 with a kill of her own, but Keokuk worked the lead back to six points, at 15-8.

Back-to-back aces by Mary West helped the Panthers crawl back to within striking range. Another kill by Carrasco cut the lead to 15-13, but Keokuk once again went on a run to pull away.

Mt. Pleasant trailed 21-15 before making a fierce comeback to get within one. Sutter had three kills in the run, the third of which cut the advantage to 23-22.

The two teams traded points to bring Keokuk’s lead to 24-23, and the Chiefs were able to end the set with a kill, taking it 25-23 and giving themselves a 2-1 lead overall.

The Chiefs put the pedal to the medal early on in the fourth set, leading 8-2 after 10 points. Mt. Pleasant once again crawled back, cutting the lead to one point, at 9-8, on an ace by Seberg.

That’s as close as the Panthers would get, however, as Keokuk pulled away and won the only double-digit game of the night, at 25-13.

“We had played that first set fairly well and then every single set after that we’d dig a hole,” said Panther head coach David Streeter after the game. “We couldn’t stay consistent enough to get out of it.”

Streeter did say he saw some positives out of his hitters, but that the passing just wasn’t there for them.

“Some of them are a little young, but they’re improving,” Streeter said. “We just need to get them the ball better. Tonight the front row actually played really well. The hitters for the most part had more kills than errors, so that’s always a plus.”

The Panthers were led in kills by Carrasco, who was on her first game back from injury. Lyndi Vantiger led the way in digs, and Sutter had the most blocks.

Mt. Pleasant fell to 2-12 with the loss. The Panthers will be in Ottumwa this weekend.

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