At times it wasn’t very good volleyball on either side.
In fact it was probably downright frustrating for both Swanton coach Kyle Borer and Evergreen mentor Troy Zabawa with all the missed serves, mishits, and missed chances that went way out or way long.
But in the end Swanton’s Katie Floyd was the rudder that righted the ship with four straight kills that closed out a five-set Bulldog win over the Vikings, 15-25, 25-21, 25-7, 24-26 and 15-5 Tuesday night in NWOAL action.
“Katie’s big for us,” Borer said of his senior that plays all the way around. “She has four years of experience on varsity, she is going to carry us. Her and Maddie (Smith) had big nights for us tonight.”
Paige Shively’s dunk and pair of right-side kills jumped Evergreen to an 8-2 lead, an advantage that opened up to 15-6 thanks to a number of Swanton hitting errors, an ace from Marissa VanDenk and Brooke Sintobin’s dunk of an overpass.
Swanton closed to 15-10 when Peighton Manning’s tip found the wood but three more attacks that went out, combined with Shively’s tip and ace helped give the Vikings a first set win.
“That first set I didn’t recognize my team for a while, I was wondering what was going on,” said Borer. “They weren’t fundamentally sound passing, they were hitting the ball all over the place. We handed away points, and when our mistakes piled up they earned a number of points too.”
Lyla Nash had a pair of left-side shots and Sintobin’s ace gave Evergreen an 11-9 second set lead but the Bulldogs rebounded thanks to Floyd and Smith.
The pair split eight kills in 10 Bulldog points to bring Swanton from a two-point deficit to a 19-16 lead.
Sophie Taylor’s second ball shot caught Evergreen flat-footed to keep the margin at three, then back-to-back bullets from Smith closed out a 25-21 second set Swanton win.
In the third set Swanton rolled.
Smith had five kill shots in the first nine points in a 10-1 spurt.
Morgan Smith scored consecutive aces to make it 16-2 before Manning and..yes, Floyd..each scored two more kills in the third set romp.
“I didn’t feel we played the way we were capable until the third set,” Borer explained. “We woke up in the second but in the third we were fundamentally sound and didn’t hurt ourselves. Many less hitting errors and had good passing and good serve reception and we hit the ball where we wanted to not where they wanted us to hit it.”
Nash and Smith traded kill after kill in the fourth before a multitude of missed serves and missed attacks left Swanton with a 18-17 lead.
Floyd again and again drilled the hardwood for a 20-18 score but Shively’s left-sider and a missed Bulldog attack knotted the game at 21.
Smith went left twice for scores, and Nash came right back to even the count at 23.
One more time Smith drilled one home.
Nash came back with a game-tying rocket from the left, then a free ball that dropped in and a Viking lead that Shively’s ace put away the fourth set.
“We missed so many serves and that’s not us,” Borer stated. “We don’t miss serves like that.”
Floyd and Smith paced Swanton to a 5-0 lead with two kills each and that lead stayed at five before two straight Evergreen atacks went out for an 11-4 Swanton edge.
Then it was KFT…Katie Floyd Time.
The senior hitting machine hammered home one, two, three, then four consecutive shots from the left side to end the match.
“Key moments, that’s her,” Borer expressed regarding Floyd. “She knows what her responsibilities are regarding this team and she again came up big in the end.”
The Bulldogs, who have lost just twice this season, are off for a week.
Evergreen hosts Bowsher Thursday night to begin a string of home matches.