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It took the IVCC volleyball squad a little bit to get going Wednesday against Highland, but once it did, the Lady Eagles’ strong and aggressive net play was too much for the Cougars.
It led to a 25-14, 25-12, 25-22 victory for IVCC in an Arrowhead Conference match in Oglesby.
The two teams went back and forth to start the night off as the game was tied at 7-7.
Then IVCC sophomore Sarah Lushina started to find her groove and land some big kills to spark a 10-2 Lady Eagles run that gave IVCC a 17-9 lead.
“Sarah really started to find the touch there in the first set,” IVCC coach Julie Sherbeyn said. “Once we started to get aggressive at the net, we kind of pushed them back on their heels a bit and got on a run there the first two sets.”
Lushina picked up another kill along with a block with the help of Marquette graduate Lindsay Gerding to push the lead to 20-12.
On defense, fellow Marquette alumna Jessica Jessen was diving all over the place keeping plays alive and helping IVCC take the opening set 25-14.
“Jessica was all over the place again,” Sherbeyn said. “Nothing new for her to be diving all over the gym head first and just keeping things going.”
It was more of the same in the second set as St. Bede graduate Kayla MacDavitt smashed a kill, Josie Walker sent a touch shot over the net and La Salle-Peru alumna Brianna Huss put down a kill to help the Lady Eagles to a 5-2 lead.
Huss and Lushina later picked up two more kills each to push the lead to 10-4.
Hall graduate Johnna Schultz and Ottawa graduate Lisa Lukkari set up the offense throughout the night with 18 and 12 assists, respectively.
That kept the offense rolling with big cross court kills from Lushina and Huss for a commanding 22-12 lead on the way to a second set win.
The third set saw the Lady Eagles struggle a bit as they were not as aggressive on offense, but MacDavitt was strong at the net, picking up a block and altering several shots help IVCC to a slim 13-12 advantage.
IVCC then went on a 4-0 run with the help of a couple of aces from Schultz to take a 19-14 lead.
Highland cut the deficit to three, but the strong net play showed up once again for IVCC as the Lady Eagles (5-1) closed out the match.
“Kayla (MacDavitt) really stretched for the ball tonight and used her length,” Sherbeyn said. “She is really having a nice season for us.”