Jackson-Milton sweeps Lowellville
NORTH JACKSON — Although Jackson-Milton trailed in each set, the Blue Jays (5-2, 4-2) came away with a straight set Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference victory 25-20, 25-21, 25-17 at home against Lowellville on Tuesday.
“It was challenging,” Jackson-Milton coach Stephen Mohr said. “We had too many unforced errors. We need to pick it up, the rest of the week, to stay where we’re at in the conference.”
The Blue Jays are currently tied with Mineral Ridge and McDonald for second place in the MVAC Scarlet Tier standings behind Western Reserve.
“We’re in the mix,” Mohr said. “It’s still early. Ridge won it last year. Reserve finished second and we were third. Any of the top teams can knock each other off on any given night.”
Lowellville (4-5, 2-4) battled but failed to move up in the standings.
“We were in it for the most part,” Lowellville coach Josh Kelly said. “We have some inconsistencies that we’ve gotta correct. We didn’t take advantage of opportunities in our serving game. You can’t do that against a good team like Jackson-Milton.”
The Rockets were up 10-7 in the second set thanks to the serving of senior captain Sammie Kelly (team-high 14 service points and 24 assists). However, a perfect set from Blue Jays’ senior Chelsea Williams to sophomore Ava Darney for the kill tied the score 11-11.
“We started off rough,” Williams said. “But, we always end up coming back. We’re a strong team. We have seven seniors on the court most of the time. We’re really closely knit. We always have the confidence that when we’re down we’re going to come back.”
Savannah Procick scored one all the way in the back corner for Lowellville. Then, freshman Hadassah Rivera had a kill. But a diving dig by junior Paige Grope (20 assists) and a touch over the net from Mia Greco (4 blocks) helped Jackson-Milton pull ahead.
“We need to communicate a little bit more,” Grope said. ” It was a good match though. I think it’ll help get us ready for our next opponents. We just look to keep getting better going forward.”
The Rockets jumped out to a 11-5 lead in the third set. A one-handed punch shot, while diving to the ground, by Sammie Kelly had Lowellville on top. Senior Haley Cutter had a team-high five blocks. One of Frankie Lellio’s three aces and a kill from freshman Aryana Romano made it appear the match would head to a fourth set.The Blue Jays erased the deficit and went on a 12-0 run to take a 17-11 lead. Greco jumped high into the air for the kill. Freshman Grace Johns (13 service points and 12 digs) and senior captain Kylie Wilson (13 kills) hustled all over the court. Junior Emily Fultz (18 service points) helped close it out with one of her game-high six serving aces.