Ligonier Valley Rams top Bobcats, edge Red Dragons
The Ligonier Valley Rams volleyball team earned two Heritage Conference victories last week over the Blairsville Bobcats, 3-1 and held off the Purchase Line Red Dragons, 3-2.
The Bobcats came to Ligonier Sept. 25 and Rebecca Kromel started things off for the Rams with two aces. Rachel Wallace followed up with a dig shot. But despite multiple kills in the game from Tabor Hall and Kyra Ludwig, the Blairsville team won the first set, 25-18.
In the second game, Hall made a kill, another back row winner from Wallace also a couple of Kromel kills kept them up 12-11. From there Amanda Ross picked up two blocks and a kill from the middle with Ludwig and Hall continuing strong play. Wallace served two aces, then Taylor Rudnik came off the bench to add two kills, including the game winner to make it 25-16.
The Rams were solid in the third set, powered by eight kills from Ludwig. Once again Rudnik added two late winners and Ligonier Valley won, 25-13. The Rams pulled away again in the fourth game, helped early on by an aimed kill from Ross and two consecutive aces from setter Hannah Yeskey, who also had winners later in the game on a tip shot and a fake set, the latter set up by a dig from Courtney Lear. Kromel contributed two aces as well. Yeskey aced the winning point to make the final 25-15, giving Ligonier Valley a 3-1 victory.
Purchase Line visited Ligonier Sept. 27 and the Rams pulled away for a 25-12 first set win. The game ended with kills from Ross and Jeanne Markosky. The second game started off 3-0 for Ligonier Valley, but had a different tone from there as Purchase Line was able to hold off the Rams. The game featured great winners from the front row and defensive play from Wallace, but the Red Dragons tied the match with a 25-22 victory.
Ligonier Valley jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the third set with consecutive kills from Ross. Markosky added a block and a kill for the 25th point of the game, which ended with the Rams on top, 25-20.
In the fourth set Ligonier Valley fell behind early on, but the home team fought back to tie the game on two consecutive aces from Hall and then take the lead, 15-14, on a block from Yeskey. From that point, neither team could get ahead by greater than two points. Kromel had two kills and Wallace had a back row kill. Markosky added a kill and a fake set from Yeskey put the Rams up 22-21. From there the game became a battle of endurance, it was finally Purchase Line who put together two points in a row taking the set 32-30 and tying the match at 2-2.
The pivotal game began with Ligonier Valley up 9-5. Kill shots from Kromel and digs from Wallace kept the Rams ahead. Up 14-10 on a Ludwig tip shot, but Purchase Line rallied to tie it up at 14-14. Ludwig was set up by Yeskey for a kill to make it 15-14 and Ross blocked over the final point. The Rams won the game 16-14 and the match 3-2.
Ligonier Valley is back in action Monday with a non-conference match at Indiana.
Doug Kurtz is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.