Lexington opened up its match against host Pontiac with a nice run for the early advantage. The Minutemen also scored first in the second set, but it was the steady play of the Indians, particularly after a spirited timeout talk, that came through in the end in a two-set nonconference decision Thursday night.
The Indians prevailed 25-21, 25-20 to improve to 7-3 on the season. The Minutemen fall to 0-3.
But Lexington was not looking like a team with no wins as Skyler Friedmansky served up five straight points to open the match. Part of the game is being able to get good passes and good sets, and Friedmansky’s serves made trouble for Pontiac in getting those done.
Three of the first points for Lexington came on long attacks by the Tribe. The fifth point was a kill from Tia Hardt, who led the Minutemen in kills on the night.
“We just have to make sure we’re taking care of that first touch a lot more,” PTHS head coach Kelly Audia said. “We have to serve aggressively but we have to learn how to hit those consistently.”
Once the Indians started making better passes and working the offense, they began making a comeback.
Jayden Standish had an ace for Lexington to make it a 15-8 first game. PTHS got a sideout and then Madi Mennenga got hot on the service line with a lot of offensive help. Lindsey Hunt had two kills in the run, the second tied it 15-15. Mennenga served an ace right before the kill.
Hardt delivered a successful attack for the Minutemen to end the run, but an error tied it back up and gave Pontiac the serve.
A long attack put the Indians ahead for the first time on the night, and a kill from Camryn Feddern made it an 18-16 edge for PTHS.
A Brooke Fox kill, an LHS miscue and an ace serve from Maddi Stark made it 23-18. A Madison Wright kill ended the set five plays later.
“I thought we did a good job of frustrating their hitters, but that’s volleyball,” Lexington head coach Kelli Shaffer said. “Volleyball is a game of momentum. They had their runs and we had ours. It comes down to when they get them. They got their’s at a better time than we did.”
Lexington got out to a 2-0 lead in the second set on a net serve by the Tribe and a tip kill off the hand of Gracy Michal.
Pontiac tied it at 3-3 when a net violation against Lexington was on an attack that Feddern blocked anyway. A net attack by the Minutemen gave PTHS a 4-3 lead.
The teams traded sideouts before Pontiac put together a little spurt. Wright had a kill for a sideout and got another that made it 8-6.
Another Wright kill made it 10-7 and gave the serve to the Indians. Then came another Lexington surge.
The Minutemen tied it at 12-12 on a Megan Kelley ace serve. Another ace made it 13-12. LHS was up 15-13 when Pontiac got a sideout off a kill from Fox.
It stayed close with neither team able to pull away. Hannah Legner recorded a kill to give Pontiac a 17-16 lead. A long hit from Elena Steffa made it 18-16 and Pontiac did not lose its lead the rest of the way.
A Wright kill got a sideout for the Indians. She then served an ace and, after a Lexington timeout, the Indians went up 24-20 on a double-hit violation.
Fox ended the match with a kill.
A key for the Indians was the play of middle hitters Hunt, Feddern and Rebecca Rich. The production added another threat.
“They have to continue to be up and open the holes,” Audia said of the middle hitters. “We want to set them more but to do that, it goes back to that first ball contact. They had a lot of block touches, a lot of being there.”
Wright finished with 9 kills to lead Pontiac’s attack. Fox added 5 kills as PTHS collected 20 kills for the night. Mennenga had 12 assists and 8 service points. Hunt made 2 blocks on defense and Jordyn Fox came up with 7 digs.
Lexington was playing without its regular setters, but still managed to keep the pressure on with Michal stepping in.
“Our tempo is a little bit slower, and that’s to be expected,” Shaffer said. “Gracy’s done a great job stepping up. She’ll do whatever she needs to for the team and right now that’s setting. She has a good court sense.”
Michal had 12 assists. Hardt led Lexington with 5 kills and Layken McGuire delivered 4 kills.. Kelley had 7 service points, including a trio of aces.
Lexington won the sophomore match 12-25, 25-19, 15-9. Alyssa Fox had 8 service points for the Indians. Emme Lee had 7 points as the PTHS freshman posted a 25-19, 25-20 victory.