By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s volleyball team traveled east to Villa Grove Tuesday, Aug. 28 and remained unbeaten on the year thanks to a two game sweep of the Lady Blue Devils moving to 3-0 on the year.
Tuscola pulled out a thriller in game one upending the host squad 25-23 and then pulled away early in set two posting a dominating 25-16 victory to seal the deal on the match.
Karli Dean was on fire up front donating a season best 12 kills to the cause. She also joined with her sister Katie disrupting the Villa Grove offense. The duo combined for four blocks and altered numerous shots. Next up in the kills department was Lexie Russo with seven kills, while Natalie Bates led all with 15 saves. Maddie Green was at the receiving end of Bates’ passes and delivered the ball to the front row attack, adding a season best 22 assists to her resume.
Tuscola traded points throughout game one and pulled away late to capture the first set with an ace by Bates. In game two, the Deans controlled the flow of the game at the net, each pounding home a pair of kills early in the contest to give coach Lydia Miller’s team an early 10-3 advantage. Then Green spread the wealth finding both Russo and McKinlee Miller for a pair of kills each and dinked two over for two kills of her own.
Bates seemed to be everywhere on defense, and when she couldn’t get there Green, Russo, and Kyra Moyer did, each finding their ways to six digs on the night.
The JV collected win number three as well with a 25-23, 25-16 straight set victory to remain unblemished, as well.
Loss number one for both squads came later in the week on Thursday, Aug. 30 in Tolono. Tuscola’s varsity fell in three 19-25, 25-19, 21-25, while the JV fell in straight sets 18-25, 28-30. The two area heavyweights traded blows in all three games, but a late run in the third set was the difference.
Bates was a human dynamo scrambling her way to a season high 22 saves from her libero position. She was pivotal in the second set win as she dove three times to dig balls that resulted in Warrior points. Both Deans were consistent throughout delivering eight kills apiece in the match. Green was the catalyst for the front row setting 18 assists. Russo was also a target for the Warrior setter pounding home seven kills on the night. She fired home two late in the third game that looked like a momentum changer for the Warriors, but Unity hung on for the victory.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Sept. 5 edition of The Tuscola Journal.