LORAIN — The team that makes the fewest unforced errors will win — usually.
There just didn’t happen to be much usual about Saturday’s triangular at Lorain between the host school and guests Midview and Columbia.
Midview committed 25 unforced errors to only 14 for Lorain, yet the Middies found enough ways to compensate for the goofs and beat the Titans in three games, 25-22, 18-25, 25-18.
Midview also beat Columbia 25-12, 25-8, despite giving the Raiders 14 of their points via miscues.
The victories were the first of the season for the Middies, who have lost two matches to West Shore Conference foes.
“I hope today turned a corner for us,” Midview coach Jen Shouse said. “I hope today gave them the confidence and a taste of how it feels to win. We have a ways to go, but I was pleased with the way they attacked the net and the way they threw themselves on the floor on defense.”
Defense was the difference-maker in the third game. Lorain (3-1) had 25 kills in the first two games but managed just six kills in Game 3.
“We made adjustments on the blocking,” Shouse said. “We tried making those adjustments in Game 2, but we were too slow adjusting. In Game 3 we got it right and took a lot away from their swings.”
“Our concentration was not there,” Lorain coach Lynne Rositano said. “We didn’t get the ball to the setter. Bottom line.”
“We’re still missing serves, and getting called for violations in the net too often,” Shouse said. “But we have improved our serve reception and passing from our first match.”
Alex Nilges led Midview with 11 kills while freshman Cassie Haight had seven kills and four block kills.
“(Haight) is young, but she’s learning,” Nilges said. “She doesn’t play like a freshman. She’s helping our offense a lot. She’s playing well on defense, too.”
“You won’t find many middle hitters that young who have the all-around game like Cassie,” Shouse said. “She’s playing the defense we’ve been aiming to play this year.”
Junior Molly Albright had five kills and two blocks kills. Meghan Higley was 71-of-71 setting with 14 assists. Melissa Randolph and Danielle Seljan had seven digs each. Seljan served six aces.
“We brought our ‘A’ game today,” Nilges said. “We needed to get our game back. We hadn’t been playing like us. We still make too many errors, but it was good to get some wins.”
Midview scored the finals six points of Game 1 to pull out the victory. The Middies had been ahead 13-6 before the Titans went on a 13-2 run.
Lorain dominated Game 2, moving from a 6-5 lead to a 13-7 advantage and not letting the Middies get closer than four points after that. The score was tied at 12 in Game 3 before Midview went on a 7-2 run.
Alexis Castro had 16 kills and Kayla Lurry added seven kills for the Titans. Serena Rodrigues, who was playing despite a stomach virus, had 32 assists. Lurry led the Titans with 15 digs.
Lorain beat Columbia (1-6) in the first match of the day, 25-18, 33-31, despite 20 unforced errors to eight for the Raiders.
The Titans were up 22-18 in Game 2 before Columbia forced overtime with seven unanswered points. A kill by Lorain’s Raeven Bastock tied the score at 31 before two Columbia errors ended it.
Castro had nine kills and two block kills. Lurry added five kills and three block kills. Rodriguez had 28 assists and Castro and Lurry had nine and eight digs, respectively.
Columbia was led by Megan Hawke and Nicole Baytosh with five kills each. Jenna Guth had seven digs.
Midview committed six errors to give the Raiders a 7-1 lead, then settled down and dominated for a Game 1 victory. The score was tied at 8-in Game 2 before the Middies scored the next 17 points.
“It’s a challenge to play these Division I schools,” said Ali Bakos, coach of Division III Columbia. “We don’t play consistently. You saw how well we played against Lorain, and then how we played against Midview.”
Albright had five kills, all in Game 2, and two block kills to lead Midview. Nilges added four kills and nine digs and served four aces. Haight had four kills and eight digs. Higley had three kills and 10 assists.
Contact Steve Byrne at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.