April 17, 2014

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High school volleyball: Keystone bounces back against Firelands

LAGRANGE — Keystone rebounded in a big way from Wednesday’s disappointing loss to Midview by sweeping visiting Firelands in three games Thursday in a Patriot Athletic Conference match.

Keystone’s Becca Conrad hits past Firelands’ Erika Ruffner on Thursday during the Wildcats’ win. (CT photo by Steve Manheim.)

Keystone’s Becca Conrad hits past Firelands’ Erika Ruffner on Thursday during the Wildcats’ win. (CT photo by Steve Manheim.)

The scores were 25-18, 25-16 and 25-18.

The Wildcats (4-1 overall, 4-0 in the PAC) were led by Becca Conrad and Nikki Tuttle with 10 kills each.

“(Wednesday) we were just tired,” said Keystone coach Rachael Bailes of the three straight losses to Midview the night before. “But the games were close. Midview has a really good team.

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“Tonight, though, we looked really good. Our communication was great and our ability to play good defense was another key. I think our chances to win the conference looks good if we can keep this up.”

Playing with its back to the wall in the third game, Firelands (4-2, 2-2) jumped off to a quick 3-0 start, but then fell behind 5-4 on an ace by Keystone’s Mallory Nagy, and the Wildcats never trailed again. Still, it was relatively close, with Keystone leading by just three at 16-13 before serves by Nagy and Kiki Williams wrapped it up. Conrad got the winning 25th point on a tip shot.

“I just wanted to forget last night,” Nagy said of her mindset going into Thursday’s match. “Tonight felt good. We had lots of good passes. All the team was on tonight.”

Nagy had seven kills and 10 digs.

“Everyone just worked together with good energy,” Conrad said. “Since they just joined the conference this year this was the first time I’ve ever played against Firelands. Our fast offense was a key, plus our setter really fed us well.”

“We were a little off today as a whole group,” Firelands coach Diane Price said. “We had a lot of hitting errors. Keystone is really good and you can’t afford to make mistakes against a team like that.

“But we’ll bounce back.”

Casey Marrissette led the Falcons with nine kills, while Rachel Bansek had two solo blocks and 18 assists. Stephanie Griffith was 14-for-14 serving with one ace.

Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.