GREENTOWN — Eastern’s volleyball squad appeared poised to sweep to victory in Tuesday night’s home match with Peru, displaying a diverse offense that had the Bengal Tigers on their heels for most of the match’s first two sets.
The offense began to sputter late in the match, allowing Peru to battle back to tie it at 2-2 before the Comets regained form in the fifth set to stave off collapse in a 25-20, 25-16, 24-26, 24-26, 15-8 conference victory.
“Something we’ve been trying to work on in practice is staying consistent and cleaning up our unforced errors,” Eastern coach Missy Mavrick said. “After that second set, I feel like we got a little ahead of ourselves. We didn’t keep our focus and play our game. We let them take control and lost the momentum we had. We took the momentum back in that fifth set.”
The Comets (8-7, 2-1 Mid-Indiana Conference) built a 9-2 lead in the match’s opening set with a kills from Kinsey Duke, Hannah Williams and setter Quinlyn Hochstedler on a ball she dumped off to the back corner, a tactic she used often in the early stages of the match.
Peru got within 19-17 in the opening set before a pair of kills from Lizzy Mavrick and Maddie Vint’s third ace of the night helped Eastern close out the set.
The Comets didn’t take their first lead in the second set until three straight Peru attack errors put Eastern in front 15-14. Eastern ended the set on a 10-2 run with Hochstedler dishing out a pair of kills to Lizzy Mavrick and another to Gabby Castillo.
“Quinlyn has been doing a really nice job this season of distributing the ball to everyone,” Missy Mavrick said. “I feel like that’s helped throw off the block of other teams. A lot of times they don’t know where she’s going to go. She’s been doing a nice job of reading the court and putting the ball in holes. A lot of teams aren’t responding to that. She’s actually, a lot of times, up there in kills for us as well.”