TRUMAN - The St. Clair Cyclones outlasted the Truman Bluejays, 25-17, 20-25, 25-15, 25-9, during Valley Conference volleyball action on Tuesday night in Truman.
After the Cyclones jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead thanks to a 25-17 Game 1 win, the Bluejays came back to even the match with a 25-20 win in Game 2.
Hitter Emily Zaharia, who had a team-leading 16 kills, evened Game 2 early by sending a Cydney Kilian set assist down the middle to make it 1-1.
TAP OVER THE TOP — Truman hitter Emily Zaharia (13) taps a tip over St. Clair defenders Julia Day (far left) and Cassi Juliar (4) during Valley Conference volleyball action Tuesday night in Truman. Bluejay setter Cydney Kilian (30) and libero Stephanie Jahnz look on. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
"I think the difference for us during the second game was that we made smart choices," said Truman head coach Steve Schlager. "We were under control of our own game and ran the offense well."
Then the Bluejays rattled off four straight points to grab a 5-1 advantage.
Kilian fired an ace serve before connecting with Emily Zaharia on a tip to go up 4-1. A Cyclone attack into the net on the next point extended Truman's lead to 5-1.
The Cyclones battled back, with Julia Day sending a Cassi Juliar set down for a tip, before Kaylynn Morson sent a serve long.
Tresa Reuter then smacked an Abby Drummer set assist down the left side to pull the Cyclones within 6-4.
St. Clair then creeped within one when Kate Karels and Juliar combined to block an Alexis Jahnz attack attempt to make it 6-5.
"They have hitters who make mistakes just like us, and when they made some of those errors, we took advantage," said Schlager. "But even though we were two evenly-matched teams, they outlasted us in the end."
The Bluejays held onto their lead however, and extended it to 14-10 when Courtney Zaharia smacked one of her five kills on a Cyclone overpass.
Drummer responded by sending a push into the Bluejays court for a kill, before Courtney Zaharia and Emily Zaharia each tallied kills to make it 16-11.
Courtney Zaharia smacked one of Kilian's 18 set assists down the left line, before Emily Zaharia took a Savannah Hodge's assist down the middle.
Day tipped a Drummer set to make it 16-12, before Courtney Zaharia poked a tip down for a 17-12 lead.
With Truman leading 22-19 after a serve long by the Cyclones, Emily Zaharia pushed a set over to freeze the St. Clair defenders to take the 23-19 edge.
Courtney Zaharia sent an attack into the net, giving the ball back to the Cyclones, but Emily Zaharia helped out her team by tapping a hard tip to the floor to make it 24-20.
Courtney Zaharia then sealed the victory, smoking a Kilian assist down the left line for the win.
Unfortunately for the Bluejays, the Cyclones rebounded, capturing the final two games of the match, 25-15 and 25-9 to take the win.
"Our unforced errors tonight are what hurt us," said Schlager. "The girls play their hardest and try their best each night, but tonight our own errors cost us in a close match."
Alexis Jahnz finished with three kills for Truman.
Truman (3-13-1, 1-7 Valley) travels to play Alden-Conger in a 7:30 p.m. match on Thursday in Alden.