Verona rallies past Purdy in volleyball

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

By Jared Lankford

The Verona Lady Wildcats volleyball team earned a hard fought 2-1 win over Purdy at home on Sept. 12.

Verona took the first set 25-20 only to see Purdy take the second set 25-20 before recovering to prevail 25-21 in the third and final set.

"It was a very emotional game," said Verona coach Brad Stewart. "Purdy is a very scrappy team and they made several runs at us. I thought we did a good job of playing with poise and handling the pressure."

The match featured each team's dominant hitter: Jessica Youngberg for the Lady Wildcats and Courtney White for the Lady Eagles.

Youngberg placed her stamp on the first set with four kills, three blocks and three service points.

With the set tied at 17-17, a missed Purdy serve led to a tremendous rally by Verona in which Amanda Mullen sent a cross court volley over the net for an unexpected point. Mullen's play carried the Lady Wildcats to the set win.

In the second set, Purdy showed grit, determination and pure hustle.

With Youngberg rotating to the back row for Verona, White found a home on the front row for the Lady Eagles.

"Purdy did a much better job at passing the ball to the net than we did," noted Stewart.

White contributed five kills in the second set as Purdy roared to the 25-20 set victory.

"I thought we played hard tonight," said Purdy coach Heather Romine. "We need to do a better job of getting our first serve over and maintaining leads."

In the third set, Verona built a 13-9 lead. A White kill and three Careya Garcia service points pulled the Lady Eagles to within 14-13.

Verona appeared to win five of the next six points to build a 19-14 cushion.

However, Verona was penalized for serving out of order and, by rules, the points awarded during the improper server's tenure were removed from the scoreboard.

With the score charge to 17-15 Verona, Purdy won three straight points to take a brief 18-17 lead.

Youngberg, who finished the game with 15 kills, rotated to the front row and killed three of the next six rallies to help the Lady Wildcats win 25-21.

Purdy travels to Lockwood on Sept. 23, matches are set to begin at 6 p.m.

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