CLOVERDALE -- Cloverdale's volleyball team started off the week with a rough four-set match against Rockville. While the Clovers won the match 25-20, 18-25, 25-21 and 25-17, they were made to earn the victory.
Rockville started off hot out of the gates, with Cloverdale closing the gap and taking a brief lead at 10-8. Once the scores were tied at 13-13, the Clovers rattled off seven straight points.
The Rox would rally to close the gap to 23-20 but the hosts held serve to take an early one set lead.
Rockville again came out stronger in the early stages of the second set and made their advantage stick as the Clovers would come as close as four points at two stages before the visitors won the final three points to take the second set 18-25.
Building on the momentum, Rockville struck early and often in the third set, building at one time an eight-point lead at 7-15 before the Clovers rallied to eventually tie at 21-21 and win the set by taking the last six points.
The hosts started stronger in the fourth set, though they did trail briefly. Once, however, they were able to take the lead at 9-8, they would never relinquish it as the yshot out to leads as large as eight several times before winning the set and the match.
Bradanne Toney recorded 21 kills, nine digs and seven points on the evening, with Rebekah Jordan notching 20 points, six digs and two aces and adding Bristy Skiles 26 assists, three points and a kill,
Taylor Jones chipped in 13 kills six digs and four points. Paige Gruener recorded eight digs, five points two aces, and a kill, while Mariah Oetken added six digs, five kills, three points and an ace.
Cloverdale head coach Kathy Moore took the win for what it's worth, but noted several things the Clovers needed work on.
"They started off with four points. We had poor paces, a hit out of bounds, a person in the net and it doesn't take very long before you're down those three, four points with consecutive errors," Moore said.
"That's one of those things we continue to talk about all the time. You're going to have errors in a game, that's a given, but they can't be more than three points in a row at any time."
"It's hard to come back when you're down more than three points. This team likes to live on the edge sometimes. Sometimes we're successful at it, sometimes we're not," Moore said with a small chuckle.
"In the second set, we did not pass the ball well at all. We had a lot of free balls and I tell the team, when you have that many free balls, we just count it as a defensive point.
"They're going to set it up and they're going to attack you instead of us holding the ball and attacking them. That was the story of the second half, us just free balling it over," Moore added.
Moore also noted that the aggression of her squad picked up in the third and fourth set, ones that highlighted the kind of play the squad needs heading towards the final games of the season.
"Things changed around in the third and fourth set. We were attacking and going after them. We had much better serving and receiving and some much better digging," Moore said.
"We have to get over those lapses we have sometimes where we have consecutive errors and the free balls. We have to work on those.
"We're getting toward the end of the season and those kinds of mental mistakes and errors just have to be reduced. The team with the most errors is the one that usually loses," Moore said.
"We're at that point in the season where we have to start climaxing. We have a goal so we need to be progressing and improving each time we step on the court."
Rockville 20 25 21 17
Cloverdale 25 18 25 25