NEW PARIS — National Trail’s volleyball team picked up a conference road win on Tuesday, Sept. 8, when it defeated Mississinawa Valley in four sets.
The Blazers were short a player because of illness and lost the first set, but the team was able to pull together for an important road win by a score of 16-25, 25-17, 25-23, and 25-20.
Courtney Ray led the way with 33 assists, five aces, and 19 points from serves. Alexus Acton led the way with 16 kills and chipped in 12 good serve receptions as Shania Jordan added 16 digs.
“It was a great conference win for us,” said Trail head coach Joy Yeazel, who gave credit to her team for playing down a player.
The team however dropped three other matches on the week, as they fell to Franklin-Monroe on Thursday, Sept 10, and Eaton and Milton-Union during a tri-match on Saturday, Sept 12.
Franklin-Monroe defeated the Blazers in straight sets 18-25, 15-25, and 8-25. “We had problems handling the ball, we did not have a good game controlling the ball,” said Yeazel, who gave credit to a strong Jets team. “They set the tempo by controlling the ball most of the match, our youth really showed by how much we let them control the match.”
Jordan and Acton each had 12 good serve receptions. Acton added six kills, followed by Jordan who added three and Caitlin Morgan who also added three.
The opening match of the tri-match saw National Trail fall in three sets, 29-31, 27-25 and 20-25. Yeazel said her team failed to capitalize on good opportunities by having multiple bad serves into the net and said the team lost a match they could have won.
Jordan had 10 serving points, two aces, 11 assists and 18 digs. Acton added 12 kills, Ray had 13 assists and Rise Griffin had a solid game, adding 31 good serve receptions and 16 digs.
The team lost key player Courtney Ray in the early stages of the team’s match against Eaton and the Blazers were unable to recover in the second match of the day.
The Eagles defeated the Blazers 9-25, and 7-25.
Yeazel said her team needs to improve mentally against better opponents.
“It’s a thorn in my flesh,” said Yeazel. “Really good teams get us down and when things go bad early, we don’t react the way we should and we need to be better mentally going forward.”
The team travels to Carlisle on Monday, Sept. 14, and Bradford on Tuesday, Sept. 15, before wrapping up the week with a home match against Arcanum on Thursday, Sept. 17.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-456-4062 or on Twiiter @aschmidt_RH.