Parker recovers to hold off Madison East in five sets
JANESVILLE--The Janesville Parker Vikings are certainly a work in progress as mid-September arrives.
After opening with two strong sets against Madison East, the Vikings twice failed to close the door, allowing the visiting Purgolders to seize momentum as a straightforward win turned into a nail-biter Tuesday night.
It almost led to a stunning defeat, but the Vikings regained their footing and pulled out a five-set win over the Purgolders at Parker High.
Parker won 25-20, 25-13, 25-27, 19-25, 15-5 for their first Big Eight Conference victory of the fall, improving to 1-2 in league play. Madison East, which hasn't won a conference match since 2012, fell to 0-3.
"It was definitely up and down for both teams," Parker coach Andy Kimball said. "They played pretty scrappy and we played scrappy at times, too."
The Vikings were thinking sweep after Bri Garey's ace capped the second set. But the Purgolders ran off seven straight points to take a 12-5 lead in the third set and continued to roll.
That is, until Parker middle Reave Myszewski finally got into rhythm.
The senior had four kills, including the match-clincher, and two blocks in the deciding game, and she finished with 10 kills overall.
Madison East, however, controlled the net for most of the night. The Vikings hit .137 and finished with 22 attacking errors.
"They slowed us down, and we were fortunate we were able to get Reave going a bit in that fifth set," Kimball said.
Julianna Getka also had 10 kills for the Vikings. Jacy Benway had 43 assists and Sydney Peterson starred defensively with 19 digs.
"It doesn't show up in our stats, but their blocking was really good," Kimball said. "We didn't quite have the control we needed to get good swings."
Benway served four early aces, and Myszewski fired a kill into the back-right corner to close out the opening set.
"When we play well, it seems like everything's going well. But we're still working on taking aggressive swings at all times and trying to put the pressure on the other teams," Kimball said.
Parker had a chance to sweep East when it took a 23-22 lead in the third game. The Vikings couldn't end it, though, as blocks by Paige Buske and Ashala Moseberry kept the Purgolders alive.
"They made a lot of plays, and they were athletic and they were quick," Kimball said. "I wouldn't say that caught us off guard, but we knew they were going to give us a fight."
The Vikings' upcoming schedule is a busy one. Parker hosts Sun Prairie, the reigning Big Eight champion, Thursday before traveling to an invitational in Delavan on Saturday. A trip across town to play Janesville Craig awaits Tuesday.
"It's just a busy part, like playing Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday, Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday in consecutive weeks," Kimball said. "It makes it hard to work on stuff in practice."
PARKER 3, EAST 2
Madison East 20 13 27 25 5
Janesville Parker 25 25 25 19 15
Parker leaders: Aces--Jacy Benway 4, Bri Garey 2. Kills--Reave Myszewski 10, Julianna Getka 10. Assists--Benway 43. Digs--Sydney Peterson 19, Garey 14, Mackenzie Forrest 13. Blocks--Getka 5, Mirnaly Verguilla 2.