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home : sports : sports Wednesday, January 17, 2018

10/21/2017 Email this articlePrint this article 
The Observer photo by Ross Eberhart Central DeWitt volleyball players Clara Huber (left) and Emily Swanson rise for a block attempt during the first set of Wednesday’s 4A Region 8 quarterfinal with Clinton. Huber had a team-high three blocks and Swanson led the Sabers with six kills, but Central saw its season come to a close in a three-set setback.
Sabers cannot sustain strong starts in setback

By Ross Eberhart
Sports editor

CLINTON - The start was so good it forced a timeout.

But a small break turned out to be the last thing a hard-charging Central DeWitt volleyball team wanted.

Hitting the road to take on Clinton in a 4A regional quarterfinal, the Sabers came out swinging.

Central scored five of the match's first eight points and eight of the first 13.

The River Queens answered back and thought they had stemmed the tide when they tied things at 9-9, but the Sabers came right back with two more points, which is when Clinton called timeout to talk things over.

The 60-second break seemed to sap the Sabers' momentum. Clinton scored the next two points to tie the match and then two more after that to force Central to take its own timeout.

The Sabers, though, could not recover. Clinton ended up scoring the final 16 points after its timeout and used that momentum to end Central's season with a sweep, 25-11, 25-15, 25-12.

Strong starts were not a problem in any of the sets for the Sabers, who bounced back from the River Queens' monster run in the first set by jumping out to a 5-4 lead in the second game.

Central, though, had trouble keeping up with its hosts as the set wore on.

Clinton erased its early deficit with a 12-5 run in the second set.

The Sabers were able to get within five points late (19-14), but another strong closing run gave the River Queens a two-set lead.

The teams traded points early in the third game, and Central stayed within striking distance, down just 10-7.

It was still a five-point point margin when Clinton again started to pull away, outscoring the Sabers 10-2 down the stretch to finish off the victory.

The Sabers had 16 kills - 11 from the duo of Emily Swanson (six) and Lauren Wisco (five) - with Tori Banowetz assisting on 10 of them, to go with 11 digs.

Senior libero Isabelle Hawkins led the Sabers with 16 digs, while fellow senior Clara Huber had three blocks for Central, which finished the year with six victories.

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