Both literally and figuratively.
With Thursday’s key Firelands Conference match tied at 1-1, the Lady Flyers’ got big contributions from the back row to win the final two games in ease over host Western Reserve.
St. Paul won Game 1, 25-16, only to see the Roughriders respond and win the second game by the same score. But the Lady Flyers then took control, winning 25-17 and 25-18 to close out the road win.
St. Paul improved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the FC, while the ‘Riders fell to 5-1, 3-1. The two teams had also split last season’s meetings.
“Western is a really strong team again,” St. Paul coach Nancy Miller said. “I think Avery (Tubbs) and Morgan (Spettle) do a great job for them in the front row. I just thought our defense was phenomenal again tonight, and it felt like it was the difference-maker at times.”
Kennedy Stang (41) and Josie Skinn (21) combined for 62 digs along for the Lady Flyers, while Megan Hammersmith had five blocks at the net.
“I love our attitude on defense,” Miller sad. “We played very aggressive and confident on defense, and it’s something you see getting better each time we step on the floor. I can’t say enough about the way Kennedy, Josie and Presley (Stang) were on serve receive for us tonight.”
Holly Powers led St. Paul with 15 kills, while Hammersmith had 13 kills and Brooke Houck had 11. In serving, Presley Stang had 12 points with two aces, while Hammersmith had 10 points and four aces, and Skinn served nine points with two aces.
Dylian Knoll finished with 45 assists as well for the Lady Flyers.
“We’re finally settling into the position swe’re playing right now with the injuries we had,” Miller said. “They are doing a great job of attacking their spots.”
Tubbs finished with 15 kills and five blocks for Western, with Spettle adding seven kills and two blocks. Each player also served nine points. Jessa Riley added 23 digs.
“There were moments tonight that we really shined,” Western coach Lisa Muenz said. “Unfortunately, we were very inconsistent. Control of the game is key and we lost that too many times. It’s early in the season and we will keep working.”
St. Paul also won the junior varsity match in two, 25-18, 25-19.