November 23, 2014

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Volleyball: Elyria loses in four games to Solon

Elyria's Alexis Middlebrooks, center, shoots the ball past Solon's Mia Bonsignore, left, and Nikiiyah Gest. LINDA MURPHY/CHRONICLE

Elyria’s Alexis Middlebrooks, center, shoots the ball past Solon’s Mia Bonsignore, left, and Nikiiyah Gest. LINDA MURPHY/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — For three games it was a close, terrific volleyball match Tuesday night before visiting Solon finally took command in the fourth to beat Elyria 25-27, 25-23, 25-22, 25-17 in a Valley Division match of the Northeast Ohio Conference.

Solon improved to 4-2 overall and 2-0 in the division, while Elyria fell to 3-4 and 0-2.

The opening game was a well-played battle with 12 ties, and numerous exciting volleys that including several outstanding saves by both teams before Tyra Darden’s tip shot won it for Elyria. Alexis Middlebrooks’ tip broke a 25-all tie to set up Darden’s game-winner.

Neither team scored more than four straight points in the opening game.

“I was happy the way I played,” Darden said. “But overall we made too many mistakes tonight.”

“We played well but we had a lot of little errors we need to clean up,” Middlebrooks said. “We battled all night but in the last game, mistakes let us down.”

“Tonight was a good night, but our errors got the best of us at the end,” Elyria coach Jodie Johnson said. “We made a lot of good digs in the first two games.”

The second game was also close all the way. There were seven ties and the longest scoring stretch was just five by Solon, which won on Kelsie Ansec’s slam.

Ansec’s spike also won the third game, which had six ties and just one scoring streak of five points by Solon.

Nikilyah Gest got the match-winning 25th point in the fourth game on an ace right after Mia Bonsignore put the Comets ahead 24-17.

Bonsignore was outstanding the whole match for Solon while Breane Jeter and Ansec also stood out for the Comets.

“My girls started playing much more consistently at the end,” Solon coach Missy Fitzgerald said. “Bonsignore was phenomenal the entire match.”

Darden led the Pioneers with 12 kills while Danya Corlew had nine and Middlebrooks eight. Middlebrooks led with five blocks and six assists. Corlew had two aces to top Elyria while Emily Gonzalez served for 12 points.

Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.