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Lady Cougars Travel to Ave Maria
(10/7/09) The volleyball team traveled down to Naples, Florida for what became a tough competitive match against NAIA opponent, Ave Maria. Although CCC had beaten the Gyrenes earlier in the season, this night proved to be much more difficult to capture a win.
During the first set, the score went back and forth with no one team gaining more than a three point advantage. With the score 21-19, the Cougars pulled ahead with some tough serving from Chrissie Sugimoto and Ashley Lawson to take the first game, 25-22.
During game two, Clearwater appeared to lose focus early and fell behind quickly. At one point they were 7 point underdogs at 11-18 but did not give up and worked hard to climb out from the large deficient. Again some tough serving by Danielle Heffernan and big hits from Alyssa Hallice helped turn the momentum for CCC and the Cougars fought back to a 23-23 tie. Unfortunately with a service error and then a big hit by Ave Maria Middle Hitter, Adriana Vianna. The Cougars dropped game two 23-25.
At the start of game three, setter Elisabeth Ennis ripped off 11 straight points with her serving, taking Ave out of their offense. According to Coach Denny "the beginning of game three was huge for us. With such a loud home crowd, we were able to take the momentum and quiet the crowd. Liz got us off to a great start with her tough serving. She was in the zone and just kept the points coming." The third game was easily won by CCC, 25-9.
Ave Maria did not back down, and gained their composure in the fourth set and again the momentum shifted towards the home team. The Cougars again found themselves behind by several points, and again they fought back but eventually lost the set 19-25, which forced a fifth and final game. The Cougars came out strong and led 8-3 when it was time to switch sides of the court. Strong serving by Alyse Sugimoto along with some solid defense helped spark the team early. Finally after over 2 hours of play, Clearwater won the final set and match, 15-9.
Coach Denny was glad for the tough match. "We really haven't been pushed a lot this season, and the only other five game set we lost was against Miami Dade. This was a great opportunity for us to play a good team, go five sets, and be able to pull it out in the end."
Alyssa Hallice ended the evening with 5.3 kills per game and Emma Kile had 3.8. The middles did a great job with their quick hits and mixing things up with the help of setter Elisabeth Ennis. Also according to Coach Denny, "junior Liz Ennis is developing into a very solid 5-1 setter for the team and is getting better with every match."
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