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home : sports : sports Wednesday, December 13, 2017

10/11/2017 Email this articlePrint this article 
Sabers dig deep in five-set match with Solon
The match had everything you could want.

Fast starts, emotions, comebacks.

But it was missing the one thing the Central DeWitt volleyball team wanted most.

Motivated by Senior Night and the chance to "dig for a cure" in a gymnasium full of pink, the Sabers burst out of the gate to take set one against visiting Solon.

When the Spartans responded by taking the next two games, Central did not fold, instead it rallied back from a late four-point deficit to send the match to the brink.

The Sabers' magic ran out, however, in the fifth set as Solon built another early lead and this time hung on to it to win a marathon match, 19-25, 25-14, 25-23, 22-25, 15-11.

"We had a nice crowd, and the girls came ready to go," Central head coach Rachel Truelsen said. "We have given our fans some exciting volleyball this season, that is for sure."

(Two of the Sabers' five home matches this fall went the full five sets.)

After an even start - the two teams split the first 28 points - the Sabers took control in the opening set, reeling off six straight points to force a Spartans timeout.

The short break slowed Central's momentum, and Solon cut its six-point deficit in half, but the Sabers surged again late, scoring the final three points of a 25-19 victory.

The Sabers were not able to add to their lead as Solon scored six of the first seven points in the second set and was never threatened in an 11-point win.

With each team holding a victory, the third set gained extra importance, and it showed.

This time, Central bolted to a quick lead, going up 10-4 early.

Solon, though, turned the tide and the set with a 14-1 run that turned a six-point deficit into a seven-point lead.

The Spartans still held a lead at 20-14 when the Sabers charged back, scoring eight of the next 11 points to get back within one.

Solon forced set point with a side-out, but the Sabers pulled within one again at 24-23 before the Spartans were finally able to put Central away with a final point.

The fourth set looked a lot like the third one. Again, the Sabers led early - this time erasing a 2-0 deficit with five straight points - only to see the Spartans rally.

The Solon lead reached four late as the Spartans were just five points from ending the match, up 20-16.

Instead, the Sabers scored six of the next seven points to take the lead. Central never slowed down, finishing the set on a 9-2 run to force a fifth set.

The Sabers, though, started slow out of the gate in the final game, allowing Solon to open a lead at 7-2.

Three times Central rallied. The Sabers pulled within two (7-5) after three straight Solon miscues, but the Spartans responded with three straight points.

A 3-1 Central push made it 11-8 Spartans, but another three-point push by Solon set up match point.

The Sabers did not go quietly, scoring three straight points to pull within three again and force a Solon timeout, but the Spartans put down a final kill for a 15-11 win.

Central put down 32 kills in the match, including a team-high 11 from Lauren Wisco and eight from Emily Swanson.

Tori Banowetz and Payton Preston combined for all 28 of the Sabers' assists and also led Cal-Wheat with 15 and 20 digs, respectively.

Isabelle Hawkins chipped in 12 digs and Karina Zimmer 11, while Clara Huber and Swanson each had three blocks.

Two days later, the Sabers were in Tiffin to take part in the Clear Creek-Amana Invitational.

Central went 1-4 in the round-robin meet, sweeping Mid-Prairie, but falling in its other matches, two against ranked opponents in North Scott and Iowa Valley.

Swanson put down a team-best 27 kills during the tournament, while Cavanagh added 13, including seven in the victory over the Golden Hawks.

Banowetz dished out 47 assists, while Hawkins dug up 41 attacks and Huber and Kenzie Rosenboom combined for nine blocks.

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