STEUBENVILLE, OH -- La Roche fought their way through the Franciscan University Tournament on Saturday morning, but came away just short with a 3-2 (25-8, 21-25, 22-25, 25-21, 15-8) loss to Geneva and a 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 24-26, 25-22) loss to Oberlin.
Match 1: The Redhawks struggled in game 1, but kicked it into gear with victories in games 2 and 3.
Both teams battled for position in the second set, with Geneva holding a slim 12-11 lead. The Redhawks responded with two straight points including an Ingrid Spear kill to take a 13-12 advantage. Geneva tied it at 13-13, but La Roche took the initiative to protect the lead the remainder of the set. Protect it they did, as they rallied off four of the next five points and an 18-14 lead. Sydney Herzer provided an ace and Laura Nath had two kills. The Redhawks used kills and Geneva errors to protect the lead and win set #2 25-21.
La Roche had to overcome a five point deficit at 9-4 to take set #3. Nath sparked a five point run to tie it with two kills and a serving ace. The Redhawks continued to battle, with Herzer providing a service ace and Nath a pair of kills that brought them to a 20-15 lead. Geneva narrowed the gap, but a Spear kill closed set #3 at 25-22.
The Redhawks ran a 16-11 deficit to a 17-16 advantage in set #3. Spear and Nath contributed kills, and Geneva ran into a series of errors. Geneva however recovered and tied the match at 2-2.
Geneva took advantage of two early serving aces and came away with a 15-8 set #5 victory and the match.
Nath had 18 kills and Sarah Storino 35 assists.
Match 2: The late match was a thriller. Oberlin came away with sets #1 and #2.
The Redhawks narrowly escaped with a 26-24 set #3 win to extend the match. La Roche had trailed 19-18, but scored five straight points for a 23-19 advantage. Storino provided an ace and kill over the course of the run. Oberlin answered to tie it at 23-23, but Spear gave the Redhawks set point with a kill. Oberlin again tied it at 24-24, but a Bethany Nulph kill made it game point and Kayla Gramm extened the match at 26-24.
La Roche continued to battle with their sights on a decisive game #5. They held a 13-12 advantage, but every time it looked like the Redhawks would make a run, Oberlin answered. Oberlin extended an 18-18 tie to a 22-19 lead, and ended up earning the victory.
Photo by Sam Terry.