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Prospect net girls fall to Lakers



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EMILY BARRETT goes up for a kill against Inter-Lakes on Sept. 14. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
September 19, 2011
ALTON — There were positives and negatives to take from the Prospect Mountain volleyball team's game with Inter-Lakes on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

"I feel like we're showing up for every game," said coach Kerry Fitzpatrick. "But the games where our serve receive lets us down, it's too much to overcome.

"I more or less feel like we got beat on serve receive," she continued after her team's 3-0 loss to the Lakers. "When everything else was running smoothly, we were competitive with them."

The Timber Wolves were especially competitive in the second of the three games, as they led for a good chunk of the game but could not close the deal and dropped a 25-23 decision.

Inter-Lakes came out of the gate strong in the first game. After Emily Barrett got the Timber Wolves on the board to get things started, the visitors pushed across six points in a row to take a 6-1 lead. However, Prospect battled back and slowly closed the gap to 6-4 and after the Lakers pulled ahead by a 9-4 score and then 12-6, Barrett helped bring her team back with a couple of strong plays at the net and a key block. Ashlee Roy also recorded a service ace, cutting the lead to 14-11. However, the Lakers closed out strong, running away from that point and taking a 25-13 win.

Prospect went up early in game two, as Roy recorded another ace, Zoe Wenzel had a nice hit and Barrett found a perfect placement on a couple of shots, giving Prospect an early 4-2 lead.

Inter-Lakes battled back to tie the game at seven, but a nice shot by Jazel Lee put Prospect back on top. The Lakers pulled ahead by a 9-8 score, but a nice tip from Savannah Decoff and another Roy ace pulled Prospect back to the top and then Decoff and Barrett both had solid plays at the net to open up a 15-10 lead.

A couple of solid plays from Anna Jortikka helped the Timber Wolves stay in front at 17-13, but the Lakers battled back and eventually tied the game at 17.

The two teams went back and forth from there, with Barrett and Lee both chipping in with nice plays, but after a 23-23 tie, the Lakers got the final two points and took the 25-23 win.

Game three went to the Lakers in the early going. Barrett and Wenzel had nice plays and Roy chipped in with a nice tip, but the visitors opened up a 10-4 lead. A nice serve return from Lee and a strong play by Barrett at the net helped the Timber Wolves cut the lead to 11-7, but the Lakers went on a strong run and opened up an 18-8 lead. A good hit from Xyelle Lewis and a block from Barrett got the Timber Wolves back on the board and Jortikka had a good play at the net and a service ace, but the hosts were never able to get back in it and fell by a 25-14 score.

For the night, the Timber Wolves had 23 serve receive errors.

Barrett had nine kills, four digs and four blocks, while Roy had a solid day from the serving line, with three aces and also chipped in 14 assists.

"We knew going into this year it was going to be a battle," Fitzpatrick said. "Hopefully this gains them some maturity."

She commended the team's two seniors, Lewis and Barrett, for stepping up and doing what they can, but noted that the majority of the team is still sophomores and would likely still be learning the finer points of the game at the JV level of a number of teams.

"I feel good about the season," the Timber Wolf coach continued. "We knew Inter-Lakes would be difficult, but we're taking steps."

The Timber Wolves opened the week with a trip to Farmington on Monday, Sept. 12, and dropped a 3-0 decision to the Tigers, 25-12, 25-18 and 25-17.

"It was a good game," Fitzpatrick said. "We played well, we fought, they didn't dominate us."

In that contest, Barrett had six kills and seven digs, while Lewis had three aces, two kills and 10 digs and Karie Bilodeau had two blocks, on ace and a kill.

Fitzpatrick noted that between the two games, the team worked on blocking and defense and it paid off with solid work on those areas against Inter-Lakes.

"We figure out our weaknesses and go at them in practice," the Prospect coach said.

The Timber Wolves will be at Pittsfield on Friday, Set; 23, and at Portsmouth Christian on Monday, Sept. 26. The girls return home for a game with Farmington on Wednesday, Sept. 28. All varsity games follow the JV games, which start at 5 p.m.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at sportsgsn@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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