Girls Varsity Volleyball
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Oct 13, 2016
- PIONEERS: 2
ROCK ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL: 0
By Doug Green, firstname.lastname@example.org
October 14, 2016
ROCK ISLAND -- You knew it was going to be Alleman’s night when Alli Ferrari’s desperation dig found the perfect landing spot at the back right-hand corner of Rock Island’s side of the court.
Everything went the Pioneers’ way Thursday, from balls bouncing off rafters, to a do-over that resulted in Pioneer points, as they swept cross-town rival Rock Island 25-22, 25-19 at Don Morris Gymnasium.
The Western Big 6 Conference win was Alleman’s first since four years ago when it defeated United Township. It was the first defeat of Rocky since 2009, when the Pioneers swept the season series.
To make the victory even more incredible, Alleman was playing its second game without Coach Frank Flanagan, who took a leave of absence for personal reasons for the rest of the year. He plans to return next season.
Playing under new coach Jackie Phelps, the Pioneers took an early lead in the first set. The Rocks clawed back to take a brief 19-18 lead but watched it slip through their fingers. Alleman took command in the second set, taking a 10-9 lead and expanding it to 21-15 at one point.
“We always play catch-up, and we were tired of playing catch-up,” Ferrari said. “This game we wanted to change it, and we wanted to get ahead. And if they did get a point, we wanted to come right back and not let them get on a run and lose our momentum.”
Rock Island (6-21, 1-8 WB6) held no lead larger than four points, and that came in the first set at 12-8. Alleman then outscored Rocky 9-2 to take a 17-14 lead before sealing the win.
Most of the Pioneers' scoring simply came on hustle plays, which was one of the main differences from their matchup earlier this season.
“I know Frank was always talking to them about being a family and playing together and tonight they did that,” Phelps said. “I think that showed in the victory. They were picking each other up, they were helping each other. If there was a bad pass they were diving for the ball. I had one girl almost go into the bleachers to get a ball.”
For the Rocks, it was simply a bad night at the office. Balls that should have been left to fly out of bounds were struck, ones that were available to be hit simply fell to the ground. Even the game’s deciding point came on an unforced Rocky error as the serve flew over Alleman’s heads.
“We give up on ourselves,” Rocky coach Kelly Young said. “We give up a few points, and we give up on ourselves. This is a team that we’re playing that obviously wants to beat us, and you give them a few points and you give them a lot of confidence. They played really well. They outplayed us today.”
Alleman was led by sophomore Sydney Elliott’s matching seven kills and digs. She also had three aces. Senior Baylee Marriott had 15 assists for the Pioneers.
Rock Island was led by sophomore Delaney Kelly with five kills and a block. Fellow Rocky sophomore Monica Diaz had 12 digs.