JOHNSONBURG – St. Marys volleyball overcame a two-set deficit with wins in the last three in a 3-2 (17-25, 18-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-12) victory over Johnsonburg Tuesday night at Johnsonburg Area High School.
St. Marys coach Erica Vogt said it was a nice comeback win for the Lady Dutch.
"We have two starters injured right now so we had to bring up a couple girls," Vogt said. "The way they played and the way the team came together was really nice to see."
Vogt said she was aided by the play of freshman Taylor Schutz who saw some time in the lineup due to the injuries.
"My girls are usually really solid," Vogt said. "Taylor Bellina covers really solid, my hitters are usually solid. Chelsie Gaton hit and blocked took advantage of everything and Taylor Schutz came up and she just played with no intimidation factor. She played, she hustled and she moved and she put the ball where it needed to be. That was good support."
After losing the first two sets, St. Marys was able to force a fifth and decisive set with the Ramettes. At 3-all, Johnsonburg scored four straight points on the serve of Katie Galsick, Kiesha Dornish and Chelsea Benson contributed kills during the 4-point run. St. Marys answered with four points of their own to tie the set at 7-all. Sami Hanes poured in a kill to give the serve to the Lady Dutch, then added three straight service points. Dornish added a kill at 8-7 to make the lead two for the Ramettes but the Lady Dutch would then rally to tie the set at 11-all. From there, a ace by Lauren Dalessandro and three overall service points put St. Marys one point from victory. After Johnsonburg scored a point on a Lady Dutch service error, Hanes punctuated the match with a kill to give St. Marys victory.
"Our first two games, we weren't together," Vogt said. "We had a lineup issue in the second game. They got it together in the second game and they played. To come back, they really wanted this. Every single girl contributed. It was good to see my team play their game."
Johnsonburg coach Bill Shuey said the errors down the stretch cost the Ramettes.
"Too many errors," Shuey said. "I thought we did OK the first game but then we lost the momentum due to St. Marys' play, they played hard, they played right with it. You can't win against good team and make that many errors."
Although St. Marys lost the second set, the Lady Dutch gave Johnsonburg a scare after some early trouble. Johnsonburg had built the lead to 13-4 but the Lady Dutch evaporated the 9-point lead to four at 15-11. Galsick had a pair of kills as Johnsonburg scored five straight points to make it 20-11. St. Marys scored seven of the last eight points to make the lead 21-18 before four straight points from the Ramettes. Dornish earned the final kill for the Ramettes as Johnsonburg took a 2-0 lead with the 25-18 victory. Vogt said the confidence built by the second-set rally was felt throughout the rest of the match.
"It was when they realized they could do this," Vogt said. "It was in the second game when we had the lineup issue and we were kind of off track. Even though we lost that game, they recovered easily. They really just got their heads with it. At that point, they just made a decision that they were going to take it. When you come back, their confidence builds. I think that's where it started to turn around. They didn't give up."
St. Marys pushed out to the early lead in the third set with four of the first five points. Overall, the Lady Dutch had a 10-5 lead before the Ramettes would eventually come back to tie the set at 13 after a Galsick block. That block punctuated three straight points for the Ramettes. The set was tied at 14-all, 15-all, 17-all, 18-all and 19-all. At 19-all, St. Marys pushed ahead with four straight points en route to taking the third set 25-22.
The fourth set was again tightly contested between the two county rivals as neither team could stretch the lead far. The teams had seven ties in the fourth set. At 17-all, St. Marys scored three points off the serve of Abbey Cribbs, then Chelsea Benson of Johnsonburg answered with two service points of her own after a Galsick kill to put the set at 20-all. Again, St. Marys ended a set with a momentum burst, this time it was a 5-1 run to force the fifth set at 25-21.
"I think in the fourth game we missed six serves and we lost three," Shuey said. "You take those serves away and we're right in it. Then the indecisiveness with the girls," Shuey said. "They got into a mode of not trying to lose instead of trying to win and waiting for the match to get over."
Johnsonburg had a momentum surge in the first set to pull away from the Lady Dutch. At 10-all, the Ramettes scored nine of the next 10 points to take a 19-11 lead as Dornish added a pair of kills while Brittany Watts and Benson scored blocks for Johnsonburg during the run. Galsick had six straight service points for the Ramettes from 13-11 to 19-11.
Johnsonburg is at Kane for a 6 p.m. match Thursday. St. Marys is slated to host Bradford with junior varsity action to start at 6 p.m.