By ERIC BENAC
News Sports Writer
The Alpena Community College volleyball team hosted Lawrence Techological University on Friday and Saturday, and picked up its first two wins of the seasons, sweeping the Blue Devils 25-10, 25-9 and 25-21 on Friday and 25-8, 25-23 and 25-11 on Saturday.
"They played really well today (Saturday) and really dictated the pace of the game with our serving and offensive system," co-head coach John Dietlin said.
ACC established a quick groove in the first set on Saturday, pulling ahead to a 5-1 lead during the serves of Emily Goyner. The Blue Devils first point came off a spiking error by ACC.
This established a pattern of scoring for Lawrence Tech in the first set: many of its points came off of serving or spiking errors by ACC. With a score of 10-5, the Blue Devils went on a scoring streak, during the serves of Kourtney Allen, that brought the set to 10-7.
ACC then pull ahead off the aggressive spikes of Whitney Frazier and Sarah Bischoff. Frazier picked up nine kills on Saturday and eight on Friday, as well as four aces, while Bischoff had six. Their offensive strength, and an ace or two from Bischoff, pulled the Lumberjacks into an 18-8 lead.
The Blue Devils continued to struggle offensively and defensively against ACC, and dropped the first set 25-8.
The second set showcased a more effective offensive and defensive approach from the Blue Devils. It dropped many of the errors that plagued them in the first set and stayed nearly even with the Lumberjacks, until a four point scoring streak during Frazier's serves gave Alpena an 11-5 lead.
"We struggled with serving errors in the first set and came back strong in the second set. We had nine kills in that game, which is an all time team high," Lawrence Tech coach Tim Price said.
ACC started to make its own defensive errors during the second set, against the more effective spikes of Taryn Rogers. The Lumberjacks maintained a steady three to four point lead, until a five point scoring streak gave the Blue Devils an 18-18 tie.
Momentum seemed to be sliding to Lawrence Tech, until the Lumberjacks defense began shutting down Rogers' attack. Especially effective for ACC was Courtney Holmes and Tiffany Nickert. Homes had 13 digs while Nickert had two blocks and 14 aces on Friday.
At 22-22, ACC started to pull ahead, and made the points it needed to pick up the 25-23 win, avoiding extra point play.
The Lumberjacks came out aggressive in the third set, taking a quick 9-1 lead. Frazier and Bischoff continued to pick up kills, while Brittany Bell and Karley Pearsall alternated passing with a spike and tip based attack, that seemed to throw Lawerence Tech off balance.
Bell had 12 assists on Friday.
The Lumberjacks continued to hold a nine to 10 point lead throughout the set. The Blue Devils tried to regain the momentum from the second set, but continued to be plagued by offensive and defensive errors, as the Jacks increased its offensive pressure, picking up a 25-11 victory.
"I'm really happy with what I've seen over the last few days. They ran plays quickly and efficiently and put their opponents in awkward defensive situations throughout the match," Dietlin said.
ACC is now 2-8 overall and 0-6 in the Eastern Conference. It travel to Grand Rapids next week for the Raider Challenge and return to home game play on October 12th, against Mott.