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SOUTH WHITLEY — Two Whitley County rivals squared off Tuesday night when the Whitko Lady Wildcat volleyball squad played host to the Churubusco Lady Eagles.
The Lady ’Cats used an experienced attack and good serving to take a 3-0 win over the visiting Lady Eagles.
The Lady Wildcats took game one 25-17 behind a five-point service run by Whitko senior Rachelle Kessie.
A kill and ace by junior Karissa Olinske put the Wildcats up by five at 15-10. Three consecutive hitting errors by Churubusco gave the Lady Wildcats an eight-point cushion and allowed them to maintain that margin to the 25-17 win in game one.
Game two saw the Wildcats jump out to a 7-1 lead behind a serving ace by Stephanie Camden and a kill by Kessie at the net. The lead eventually grew to 18-4 before four Whitko errors let Churubusco close the gap to 19-9. The Wildcats cruised to a 25-10 win in game two.
In the third game the Lady Eagles, behind improved play at the net and better serving held the game close, eventually taking a 14-10 lead before strong serving by the Wildcats and a block at the net by Kessie brought the Wildcats into the lead at 16-15.
A service ace by Churubusco’s Morgan Young knotted the score at 16-16 before five straight service points from Kessie put the Wildcats up 23-18. A misplayed set by the Lady Eagles and a kill by Olinske gave the Lady ’Cats game three by a 25-21 score and the match by a 3-0 count.
“In games one and two, I thought our serving was very solid, good pace on the ball, good ball control and we took them out of their system pretty regularly,” said Whitko coach Doug West. “We were able to get good strings of points and were able to close out rallies in games one and two.
“Game three we made a lot of service errors and hit a lot of balls into the net, and that broke our momentum and we played a bit sluggish, but I was happy with our team the second half of the third game and they were able to pull that third game out.”
Churubusco coach Trinda Goings saw improvement in her Lady Eagle squad.
“We felt that first game and third game was improvement for us,” Goings noted. “We had a brand-new lineup on the floor tonight and a new setter and our serving and passing was much improved.”
Olinske led the Lady Wildcats with six kills with Kessie recording five. Kessie also recorded four service aces and two blocks while Stephanie Camden also added four service aces and 11 digs.
Meghan Peters added seven assists for the Lady Wildcats.
The win for the Wildcats moves their record to 2-0 while the Lady Eagles fall to 0-3.
The Lady Eagles picked up a straight set win in the JV contest, taking the first set 25-23 and the second by a 25-19 count.
Churubusco also took a 2-1 win in the freshmen match. The Lady Wildcat freshmen took the first game 25-16 with Churubusco taking game two 25-13 and the deciding contest by a 15-12 score.
Whitko returns to action Thursday when they travel to Manchester while the Lady Eagles are at home on the same night hosting Bluffton.