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Rebels cruise to 9th win

Top LaBrae 25-7, 25-12, 25-23 to stay undefeated

Crestview’s Abbey Emch hits the ball over the hands of LaBrae’s Briley Daniels during their match, Tuesday night at Crestview High School. (David Dermer/Warren Tribune Chronicle)

NEW WATERFORD — The onslaught started early and it didn’t seem to end until the third set.

For the Crestview Rebels, jumping on the opposition has been the norm all season except for a 3-2 matchup against East Liverpool.

They’ve swept their other eight opponents including the LaBrae Vikings Tuesday night, 25-7, 25-12, and 25-23 in a Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference, Gray Tier matchup.

“Our girls get very anxious to play,” Crestview coach Alisha Auer said. “This year has been very crazy. We’ve had a couple of games cancelled. We just jump on the court, ready to play. When the game starts, we’re ready. I think that is an advantage. We jump on teams and get in their heads early.”

LaBrae found some success in the eventual third set, but couldn’t overcome the tenacity of the Rebels.

Lucy Montgomery and Grace Auer were lethal at the front line with 10 kills each for the Rebels. Kendra Greaves added 18 digs along with Auer’s 11 to pace a strong Crestview defense.

LaBrae was paced by Ashley Monroe, Briley Daniels, and Summer Pumphrey with three kills each.

Mykaila Bryant and Rylee McDonough each had seven digs as the LaBrae defense tightened up in the final set.

“That’s one good thing about my team, I feel like they do have the fight and the will to want to win,” LaBrae coach Courtney Kish said. “There have been plenty of times this year where we’ve been down and were able to come back and take it to five.

“We’ve played a lot of volleyball being only halfway through the year. I thought by set three, we were playing a cleaner game overall. I think that’s what really impacted and helped us in that third set. We were starting to get into our rhythm.”

Unfortunately for LaBrae (6-3, 4-2), the first couple of sets were rough as they fell behind 5-0 and 11-2 calling timeouts to readjust, but they struggled to find the answers as they dropped the opening set, 25-7.

“We had a lot of battles with ourselves that we need to clean up,” Kish added. “I thought that as we got into set three that we looked more like our team. We know Crestview has always been very competitive in volleyball. Competing is the biggest thing you want to do.”

Still, the hits from Crestview were nonstop at times.

“This is my 17th year here and this is the strongest hitting team I’ve had and I’ve had some good strong teams,” Crestview coach Alisha Auer said. “I just have so many offensive weapons. It’s hard to defend against them.”

That was evident in the second set as well as the Rebels (9-0, 5-0) again jumped out to another big lead at 7-1 which forced another LaBrae timeout.

“Early on, their serve and our serve receiver struggled, along with finding the court on the other side,” Kish said. “We knew they were a good team, but the biggest thing is to play our game the best we can and know that they’re going to have some big hitters, and get past that. I think that overall, I was pleased with the third set. I think that if we could have gotten that started a little bit earlier that would have benefited us.”

Down 2-0, after 25-12 in the second set, the Vikings started to find some success against the Rebels building out a 5-1 advantage and playing Crestview even throughout the third set until Shelby Rambo served four straight points to give the Rebels some breathing room.

Crestview extended their lead out to 21-15 and survived the late heroics from the Vikings as they inched it back to 24-23.

“Our ball control started to waver there,” Aeur said. “They started to play really good defense. I thought they dug out a lot of nice balls tonight. Their defense was very scrappy. Our ball control started to fade. We were able to refocus to finish it off just to get to 25.”

Sports@vindy.com

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