Tigers sweep Hale in annual pink game

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Alcona’s Taylor Livingston (5) spikes a ball past Hale defender Brooke Kangas (7) during the first set of the teams annual pink volleyball match on Tuesday at Alcona High School.

LINCOLN — Nothing came easy in the first two sets for the Alcona volleyball team during a Tuesday night matchup against Hale, but in the end the Tigers found ways to hold on and eventually sweep the Eagles in the team’s annual pink game at Alcona High School.

“It’s always a big night for us on Volley for a Cure and the girls do a lot to prep for the event,” Alcona coach Kristi Miller said. “The first couple of sets we were a little slow reacting on defense and we didn’t have control behind the serving line that we needed. Fortunately we came out strong in the third set and the girls started working together and pulled off the win.”

After trailing 4-2 early in the opening set, Alcona went on a 10-1 run to take a seven point lead and force the Eagles to take a timeout. The Tigers were able to continue building on their lead despite the timeout and were one point away from taking the first set as they led 24-13 before Hale went on a huge run to give the Tigers a scare.

Morgan Vance served nine consecutive points for the the Eagles as Hale cut the lead to two before Alcona was finally able to end the first set and take an early match lead despite a collapse late in the opening set.

The second set was a back-and-forth battle early as Alcona held a one point lead before going on a 8-1 run to take a 19-11 lead and force another Eagles timeout.

It looked like the Tigers were on their way to an easy victory, but once again Hale gave Alcona and its home crowd another scare as they went on a run of its own to cut the lead to 23-21 before the Tigers scored the final two points to take a commanding two set lead in the match.

“When you have to work and have a challenge at the end of a game and you are able to pull it together and finish, it mentally prepares you for postseason play and the tougher games down the road,” Miller said. “We need to continue working on our communication, defense and serving.”

After seeing big leads slip away in the first two sets, Alcona made sure the third and final set was much easier and the home crowd as it carried the momentum into the third set and jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they started the set on a 12-3 run, before going on a 13-1 run to take a 24-6 lead and cruised to an easy victory on a special night.

The Tigers were led by Taylor Livingston who had eight kills and Jenelle Carpenter added six aces in the win.

Alcona improves to 16-13-3 on the year and will be back in action on Tuesday when it travels to Hillman.