COLUMBIA STATION — Columbia overcame opening-night jitters against Firelands in a Patriot Athletic Conference crossover match as the Raiders pulled out a 17-25, 25-18, 25-13, 25-16 win over the Falcons on Tuesday night.
“After that first game, we really calmed down a lot and played the game that we were taught,” said Raiders freshman setter Katlynn Krupinski, who notched 29 assists.
Columbia never got into a rhythm in the opening game, with only three service points, as the Falcons slowly pulled away for the easy 25-17 win.
Firelands never put together any long runs, but had enough offense, with five hitters registering kills — Delaney Rogala (three), Keely Hall (two) and one apiece from Kaitlyn Michener, Victoria Grasso and Erica Wasem.
“For some of the girls, when the scoreboard came on, they played very tentative,” Columbia’s second-year coach Tony Tahan said. “They’ve been great in practice, but with the scoreboard on, it becomes a little different.”
Columbia settled in at the start of Game 2. Krupinski strung together three service points, including a pair of aces, and a kill by Shawn Hodson gave the Raiders a 13-9 lead they didn’t squander.
The Falcons were the team that started making mistakes, with five unforced errors, and the Raiders Rachel Tecchite added a pair of aces to help finish out the Game 2 win for Columbia.
Krupinski and Bailey Patahaus put the Falcons in a hole from the service line, helping the Raiders to an 11-1 lead.
Shelby Friedel got loose in the middle with a pair of kills and a solo block kill, Patahaus had a pair of kills during Krupinski’s six-point service run and Hodson had a kill and a block kill. Throw in a couple of aces for Patahaus, and Firelands was buried early.
“Once that first game was done, we needed to start over and start from scratch,” said Friedel, who had 16 kills. “(Krupinski) is a great asset to the team this year. She started getting the ball to the right spots and we were able to get some good swings.”
Friedel and Patahaus got Columbia going in the fourth game with a kill and a pair of aces for a quick 3-0 lead. Firelands pushed back at the Raiders, as Michener (six kills) picked up three kills from the back line and Hall added three solo block kills to keep the Falcons in striking distance at 17-14.
Hodson all but closed out the win, earning five points at the service line on a pair of aces, a kill by Alison Schafer and another pair of unforced hitting errors by Firelands.
“We have to work on our unforced errors,” Falcons coach Diane Price said. “We have some youth in our hitting positions and we have to get better at executing our plays and getting the ball where we need to get it.”
Contact James Brady at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Columbia 17-25-25-25, Firelands 25-18-13-16
KILLS: F: Katie Michener 6; C: Shelby Friedel 16, Alison Schafer 11, Bailey Patuhas 10
SETTINGS: F: Mikayla Walbom 101 of 102, 22 assists; C: Katlynn Krupinski 29 assists.
DIGS: F: Michener 20; C: Nicole Jenny 24, Patauhas 17, Krupinski 13.
SERVING: F: Michener 7 points, Erica Wasem 6, Olivia Harris 6; C: Krupinski 15 points (2 aces), Rachel Tacchite 9 points (4 aces).
BLOCKS: F: Keely Hall 5 solo, 3 assists; C: Friedel 13, Rebecca 7