PTHS volleyball drops tough match
Pontiac got off to good leads in each of the first two sets, and then had to battle through a sluggish third set in its Illini Prairie Conference volleyball match with Tolono (Unity) on Tuesday.
It was losing the lead in the opener that hurt the most, but it was not protecting the serve that cost the Indians as they fell to the Rockets by a 28-26, 16-25, 25-19 margin.
Pontiac got out an 11-4 lead in the first set and forced Unity head coach Kylie McCulley use a timeout. The respite worked as the Rockets shot back, cutting the margin to 14-12 and forcing Kelly Audia’s hand.
Audia, the Pontiac head coach, used a timeout, but it didn’t have the same effect. Unity kept its rally going and took a 15-14 lead.
The two teams battled back and forth the rest of the way. The only time a team gained at least a two-point lead was at the end when Emma Bleecher delivered a kill to break a 26-26 tie, and Jalyn Powell served an ace for the win.
Pontiac started the second set much like the first, building a 9-3 lead. This time, the Indians were able to maintain the edge. Lindsey Hunt got a kill off a quick set to end the second game and force a third set.
Like the other games, Pontiac got the lead quickly in the third set, but a 7-1 run for the Rockets put them ahead 12-6. That was the separation the visitors needed to take control.
“We still have that phantom no-go, where we have an opportunity but for whatever reason, we freeze up and we don’t continue to play,” Audia said. “The thing is, I think we’re becoming a better team, for sure. That consistency in the last things that shows, we have to be better for longer, especially against quality opponents.”
Brook Fox finished with 11 kills and Maddi Stark had 16 assists for the Indians (9-11, 0-3). Jordyn Fox and Madison Wright each had 9 digs on defense. Rebecca Rich had 3½ blocks.
Bleecher had 9 kills for the Rockets and Katie Kaiser chalked up 8 kills. Haley Glanzer recorded 22 assists. McKenzie Newell made 3 blocks and Ella Godsell had 20 digs.
Pontiac lost the sophomore match 25-19, 25-19. Maddie Mills had 5 service points. Raegan Pfeifer had 4 points as the freshman Indians lost 25-10, 25-17.