By PAUL HINES
MT. VERNON —
The Lady Rams volleyball team erased a massive game three deficit to beat Wayne City on Tuesday night.
Mt. Vernon won the match 17-25, 25-16, 26-24.
“Finally second and third game, we started to pass better,” Mt. Vernon coach Angie Carroll said. “That’s where the game is. That’s what we’ve struggled with all season.”
Wayne City raced to a 17-5 lead in the decisive game, but Mt. Vernon used a big run to help wipe out the Lady Indians’ lead. Mt. Vernon’s Rachel Kirsch started serving with her team down 17-7. She notched a pair of aces during a run that sliced Wayne City’s lead to 17-13. One of the aces hit the tape on the net and just bounced over. Molly Koester added a pair of kills during the stretch. She finished with eight.
Kirsten McGowen helped the Lady Rams get closer with a serving run that allowed Mt. Vernon to get within three points. Then with Wayne City up 21-18, Koester cracked two straight aces to make the deficit 21-20.
After the Lady Rams tied the game at 21, Taylor McGowen appeared to put Mt. Vernon up with a kill but the referees ruled for a replay after not being able to see whether the ball hit in or out. Wayne City followed with a pair of hitting errors to give the Lady Rams the lead for good, despite Wayne City tying the game at 24. Kelby Kujawa followed with a tip for a point and gave Mt. Vernon a victory with an ace.
“We can’t handle the mental aspects of the game,” Wayne City coach Jessica Backes said. “When things start going tough, we also take it personal. If I personally make a mistake, they want to take that as that they’re letting their whole team down.”
Wayne City controlled the opening game. Both teams traded points before the Lady Indians took over. Up 9-7, Wayne City took a commanding lead, rattling off five straight points. Wayne City took a double digit lead at 21-11 and coasted to winning the opening game.
“I have all the confidence in the world, and it’s really frustrating when they don’t play how I know that they can play,” Carroll said.
The Lady Indians held another lead until the midway point of the second game before the Lady Rams made a move. Mt. Vernon wiped out a 10-6 deficit and tied the game at 11 after a Taylor McGowen block. Koester gave Mt. Vernon an 18-13 lead with a kill. Wayne City never threatened the Lady Rams again in the second game.
Mt. Vernon is 16-9 this season and hosts Carbondale on Thursday.