CLIFTON – Extending their winning streak to six straight, the Clifton Lady Cub volleyball team dramatically survived a five-set marathon to edge the Keene Lady Chargers, 3-2, on the road Tuesday night. With both teams taking turns winning, all five sets were decided by the minimum two points.
“It was quite a game,” Clifton volleyball’s first-year head coach Paige Poth said. “We would get runs, they would get runs. It was back and forth.”
Sophomore Ava Anderson led Clifton with 15 kills, followed by senior Josephine Burke and freshman Elizabeth Scott with six each. The Lady Cub (2-0 in district, 15-12 overall) win set up a showdown with Class 3A’s 10th-ranked Maypearl (2-0, 23-6) today at 4:30 p.m. at the Clifton High School Gymnasium.
With Clifton winning the first set, 27-25, Keene (0-2, 2-12) responded to take the second set, 26-24. The Lady Cubs battled back to capture the third set, 25-23, but the Lady Chargers hung on to escape with the fourth set, 25-23, to force the tiebreaker. Falling behind early, the Lady Cubs came back to win, 16-14.
“In that fifth set, we were down by a few points,” Poth said. “And after our timeout, we took a big run of points that ultimately won us the game. I was very impressed with our overall fight together, and the way we started and closed with a win.”
Led by senior Audrey Anderson with 60 digs and 29 service receptions, the Lady Cubs came up with 171 digs while dealing 40 assists and delivering 40 kills. Junior Bailey Ledbetter came up with 34 digs and led the Lady Cubs with 30 assists.
“Both sides had phenomenal defense,” Poth said. “Our girls totaled some incredible numbers. Our libero, Audrey Anderson, did a wonderful job adjusting to their offense quick and taking shots away from them that they were scoring on early in the game.”
The Lady Cubs have gotten off to a strong start in the power-packed district, which includes 13th-ranked West (2-0, 26-4), Whitney (2-0, 22-9), Grandview (0-2, 13-10), Rio Vista (0-2, 10-11) and Harmony Science Academy (0-2).
“I honestly believe that the district will be a fight to the finish,” Poth said. “I think every team will match up and put up a good fight. I think with our preseason and the competition we have faced this far has prepared us for our district, and we will do great things this season.
“Our focus right now is making the playoffs. And we have to keep the mentality that the next game, whoever our opponent is, is the most important game.”
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS
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