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Alcona volleyball scores conference win

September 26, 2012
BY ERIC BENAC - News Sports Writer ( , The Alpena News

LINCOLN-The Alcona volleyball team swept Whittemore-Prescott Wednesday in three quick games, picking up wins in two games that could have gone either way very quickly.

Alcona coach Kristi Arnold praised her team for coming together well as a team during the match.

"They did a good job of covering the floor and setting each other up," Arnold said.

The teams were evenly matched during most of the match and both teams had a hard time hitting effective spikes, but were effective in saving bad first hits from going out of bounds.

Carly Mitchell led Alcona offensively with nine kills and defensively with 14 digs.

The first game opened with five straight points from Alcona. Katelyn Nelson served during four of these points. Whittemore fought back as the teams exchanged points, bringing the game to a 13-13 tie.

Later on, the teams stayed deadlocked to a 23-23 tie when the ball got stuck in the rafters.

The ceiling was a common foe to both teams through the night and a point or two was influenced by the rafters slightly changing the trajectory of the ball.

Tension was in the air as the teams fought to a 24-24 tie, but Alcona scored two straight points under Kaitlin Schellie serves to win the game 26-24.

Whittemore started the second game strong, scoring three of the first four points, but Alcona eventually overtook them.

Alcona took over with the game tied at 17 and outscored Whittemore eight to four to earn its second win of the night, 25-21.

The third game was more of the same, staying very tight and the score was tied at five early on. At this point, Karina Cole served for three straight points, putting Alcona ahead 8-5.

After 15 points, Alcona led 9-6. Nicole Smith then served a remarkable 11 straight serves, including three aces and a last-minute dive to keep the ball in play.

Smith and Ashley Shutes led the team with four aces each. Smith also had 31 assists.

Smith's serving streak helped give the Tigers a 20-6 lead.

To Whittemore's credit, it bounced back and scored three straight points to break Smith's serving streak. The game then became a back-and-forth battle before Alcona won the game 25-14.

The third game highlighted a renewed sense of aggressiveness that Arnold was happy to see in her team.

"They did a great job playing aggressively and coalescing as a team tonight," she said.



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