Craig sweeps past pesky Parker
JANESVILLE--The official box score from Tuesday night will show that Janesville Craig swept Janesville Parker in a Big Eight Conference volleyball match.
Those who were there know the Vikings made the Cougars work for every point.
In the end, Craig, behind junior Amanda Carlson, seemed to have the final answer in all three games. And the Cougars prevailed 25-19, 25-23, 25-22 to get back to .500 in conference play.
"We just had to push through and keep up the energy, and make sure we didn't get down at all," said Carlson, who led the way with 17 kills and five aces. "This was just kind of a new start. We had to come out strong."
The Cougars were coming off a week where they lost on the road to conference leaders Sun Prairie and Middleton and then competed in a high-caliber tournament at Edgerton.
"It was nice to come out of here with a win, because it was kind of the busy stretch, tough stretch, of our season," Craig coach Blake Budrow said.
Scrappy defense and standout work at the net by senior Sydney Peterson had the Vikings on the verge of victory, particularly in first two games.
The first was tied 17-17, but Craig regained the lead on a service error and Carlson more or less took over from there. Her spike made it 21-18, and back-to-back aces around a timeout later gave the Cougars a 24-19 lead that held up.
"It was all about how can we play our game and get them to play our style," Parker coach Andy Kimball said. "We did at times, but they also did it to us at times. This was one of our better chances to knock them off. We played pretty darn well, considering it was a sweep.
"We just couldn't come out on the end of some of these tight matches."
Parker had a chance to swing momentum by winning the second game. Peterson's kill that gave the Vikings a 19-17 lead forced Craig to take a timeout.
Junior Lily Stockheimer used a block and an ace to get Craig back within one, 21-20. Carlson's kill through the Vikings' block made it 21-21, and her tip two points later retied it at 22, and her smash through another block retied it, 23-23.
"Mackenzie Forrest was just upping everything if we didn't hit it past her. They played great defense," Budrow said of Parker. "Amanda played really well for us. She found spots, hit hard, tipped smart. Any time they got back in it, I think Taylor (Salmon) fed her the ball."
A couple unforced errors by Parker gave the second game to Craig.
"(If we win there) it totally changes, because you grab a little bit of momentum," Kimball said. "I told Sydney that's the best she's played since she's been on varsity for three and a half seasons. She stepped up as a leader, made plays and hit past girls who were five or six inches taller than her."
Craig never trailed in the third and led by as many as eight points, though Parker rallied late to force a timeout.
The Cougars got 36 assists from Salmon, while junior Skylar Flood chipped in four aces
Peterson led the Vikings with 11 kills and hit .357. Jacy Benway dished out 28 assists.
Craig plays in Lake Geneva Badger's invite Saturday. Parker is off until next Tuesday.
CRAIG 3, PARKER 0
Janesville Parker 19 23 22
Janesville Craig 25 25 25
Parker (aces-kills-assists)--Mackenzie Forrest 0-2-0, Jacy Benway 2-1-28, Rachel Van Beek 0-1-0, Reave Myszewski 0-4-0, Bri Garey 2-2-0, Mirnaly Veguilla 0-1-0, Julianna Getka 0-6-0, Sydney Peterson 0-11-0, Alissa Anderson 0-0-0, Megan Morgan 0-0-0.
Craig (aces-kills-assists)--Grace Carlson 1-1-1, Jessica Filter 1-0-0, Taylor Morgan 0-2-0, Skylar Flood 4-0-0, Lily Stockheimer 2-5-5, Arielle Henkel 0-5-0, Deja Calvin 0-5-0, Taylor Salmon 1-2-36, Teagan Zelle 0-2-0, Kennedy Cox 0-1-0, Amanda Carlson 5-17-0, Maddy Grund 2-0-0, Rachel Bonham 0-2-0.