By Stephen McKay
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Potter-Dix volleyball splits at Mitchell


Stephen McKay - Sidney Sun Telegraph

Audrey Juelfs passes ahead to a teammate during the Lady Coyotes' match against Kimball Thursday night. The Lady Longhorns won in three sets.

MITCHELL - Despite stepping up three classes, the Potter-Dix Lady Coyotes proved they were every bit the equal of their opponents at a Mitchell Triangular Thursday night.

The Lady Coyotes first challenged Class C1 Mitchell (1-3) and recovered from a first-set loss to win 2-1. Potter-Dix upended the Lady Tigers 23-25, 25-18 and 25-16.

Against Kimball (4-1), which also hails from Class C1, the Coyotes had to bounce back after dropping the opening set again. While the Class D2 Lady Coyotes (3-1) turned back the Longhorns in set two, its rally in the final set fell short in a 2-1 loss. The set scores were 21-25, 25-20 and 21-25.

"It feels pretty amazing to be part of a team that won't quit," said Dawson Sharman after the Coyotes final rally fell short against Kimball. "I think maybe we missed too many serves tonight, but I think if we played them again we could beat them."

While the Lady Coyotes were ultimately victorious over Mitchell in the opener, the Lady Tigers looked much the best in the earliest stages. Mitchell jumped out to a 6-0 lead in set one and Potter-Dix was never able to wrest the lead away.

"We've started out a little slow in all our matches so far this year," said Alexus Rozelle. "That's just the way it's gone though, I don't think it's anything we have to worry about."

A sign of what was to come was soon evident when Potter-Dix came back from eight points down (13-5) to eventually pull even at 21-21 on a Regyn Hicks ace. Though the opener was again tied at 23, Mitchell halted the rally by taking the final two points.

The Lady Coyotes were down 3-1 in set two, but after Audrey Juelfs' turn at the line, the Lady Coyotes had a 6-3 advantage and never looked back. They put their final stamp on the middle set with a kill by Rozelle and a Sharman ace.

Setter Lanie Thies, who had 39 set assists against Mitchell, opened the third set on the service line with an ace for 3-0. The Lady Coyotes were ahead for good after that. Sharman had two consecutive hard kills to put the Lady Coyotes up 6-1. When Mitchell threatened a comeback, Anna McLaughlin stuffed one over the net at 5-8 to take back the serve and the momentum.

Though the Lady Tigers managed to get within two at one point, the end of the set was all Potter-Dix. Savannah Shaw served out the final five points - which included an ace - for the victory. A Sharman kill closed the deal.

Sharman led the Coyotes with 12 kills against Mitchell while Hicks had nine with Rozelle and McLaughlin adding seven each. Hicks and Juelfs had 17 digs apiece. Rozelle had eight blocks and McLaughlin seven.

The Lady Coyotes were again slow to get started against Kimball as they fell behind 5-1. But again they managed to tie the affair late. The Lady Coyotes were even at 21 and 22, but couldn't pull the match out.

Potter-Dix was fast out of the gate in set two with a 5-0 lead, highlighted by a McLaughlin block point. The Lady Longhorns' Danika Daum interrupted the run with a kill, but soon the Lady Coyotes were up 10-2. The closest Kimball could get, however, was three points at 14-11 and 23-20. With Kimball showing life at 23-20, Rozelle stopped a Lady Longhorns' kill attempt with a block and a point for Potter-Dix.

While the Lady Coyotes trailed 24-14 in the final set, they refused to roll over. With Rozelle on the line, Potter-Dix mounted a furious rally that just came up short. On the final point, the ball twice bounded up to the ceiling rafters and bounced around only to fall into open court despite the effort of several Coyotes' divers.

"Lex did an awesome job serving there and I'm so proud of the hustle they showed when we were so far down in that last set," said Lady Coyotes' head coach Sarah Dvorak. "This was a higher level of competition, so I'm very pleased with how we fought."

Thies had 25 more assists in the second match while Hicks had 11 blocks. Rozelle, Hicks and Juelfs each had six kills with Sharman pounding home five. Rozelle had 19 digs to lead the Coyotes.

Stephen McKay - Sidney Sun Telegraph

Alexus Rozelle receives a serve Thursday night at the Mitchell Triangular. The Lady Coyotes split their two matches against Kimball and Mitchell.


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