ELYRIA — It was sweltering in the Coliseum on a humid late-summer Tuesday night, and though it was a West Shore Conference sweep for Elyria Catholic over Midview, the action on the court was hot as well.
The defending WSC champ Panthers won 25-21, 25-23, 25-14, but the Middies were close in the first two games before falling in EC’s first conference match of the year.
It was hard for fans to follow the score because the scoreboard was inoperative after a recent lightning strike on the building that knocked out part of the electrical system. School officials are waiting for a part to arrive to fix the problem.
Things heated up between the conference rivals right from the start, with Midview’s Kayla Payne scoring on an ace to close within 24-21 of the Panthers. EC (3-1) prevailed when Jessie Lee, the freshman daughter of EC coach Jen Lee, got the 25th point on a kill.
Game 2 was even closer as neither team had a long scoring run or owned a big advantage that ended with EC a winner by two points.
That’s where the competitiveness ended.
With the final game tied at 2, Elyria Catholic took control, jumping out to a 22-11 lead before Midview (0-3) staged a small rally on three straight points by Molly Albright, Ali Stanziano and Becca Mullins. EC closed it out with a kill from Caitlin Rock, a tip by Lee and an ace by Marie Vasitas.
Maryssa Kellick and Vasitas each had an ace. Kellick led EC with 13 kills, followed by Lee with 10. Vasitas led in assists with 22, followed by Lee with five. Becca Pronesti led in digs with seven, followed by Vasitas with five. Kellick and Lee led in blocks with six each.
“I thought it went really well tonight,” said Kellick, a 5-foot-11 junior. “Once we got into the groove, everything went our way. We want to be as strong as last year when we won the conference. I’m absolutely positive of our doing well this season.”
Lee, also 5-11, thought the team struggled a bit in the opening game, but “then in the second, we came together. We stayed positive the whole match. We’re like a family.”
And, of course, Lee has a real family member on the sideline in her mother.
“At first it was kind of tough thinking of her as my coach rather than just my mother,” she said. “But I’ve adjusted, and now I’m really good with it.”
“It’s hard in a way coaching your own daughter because it’s sometimes awkward how you talk to her,” Jen Lee. “But now I’m all right with it.
“Midview is always a tough one for us because of the rivalry. We came alive in the second game. It’s always nice to get the first conference win off the bat.”
Midview coach Jen Shouse was unhappy with her team.
“The girls are too afraid of making an error and as a result we made a lot of them,” she said. “EC, on the other hand, made few errors. In Game 1, for example, we had something like 17 errors.”
Cassie Haight, a 5-6 junior, led the Middies with eight kills, while Albright was next with seven. Payne led with three aces.
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.