Steubenville fights off St. Clairsville in four sets
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Strong starts in three of four sets fueled Steubenville to a 25-14, 15-25, 25-19, 25-13 prep volleyball triumph against St. Clairsville on Tuesday night on a muggy John Jenkins Court.
Big Red (4-2) used strong net play and consistency in all phases in topping the Red Devils (3-6) for the second time in a week.
“This is the first time, I think, since we started the season, that we came out with a big level of excitement,” Steubenville head coach Kristin Taylor said. “Even after the loss in the second set, it didn’t get us down, didn’t stop us. We just kept going. So, it felt good to see them playing the game from beginning to end.”
Anna Taylor had nine points, five aces, 17 kills and 11 digs as Big Red withstood late stands in the third and fourth sets to prevail. St. Clairsville head coach Christa Truchan, while pleased with the fight her team showed, said it needed to put forth a complete effort to be successful.
“We talked about consistency (after the match),” she said. “The little stuff gets us out of rhythm, and we can’t have those little errors when we’re struggling,” she explained.
“I just the girls we need to work harder and get back at it (Wednesday).”
With the match knotted at a set apiece, Big Red jumped out to a 7-0 lead. Soon, St. C. trimmed the deficit to nearly half when a Paige Sefsick point made it 8-4.
Later, with Steubenville up 21-14, the Red Devils clawed back again, this time pulling to within three — 21-18 on a Lydia Wees spike. But a point by Taylor helped Big Red close out the set by scoring five of the final six points.
“I think the momentum you get with that early lead helps you carry that same feeling throughout the entire set,” Taylor said. “In the second one, when we were down, we were missing our serves a little bit, but it wasn’t anything other than a miscommunication here or there.
“Other than that, it was a good match.”
Steubenville, again, started strong in the fourth, building a 6-1 advantage.
St. Clairsville closed to 15-11, but a service error, coupled with a point from Kiera O’Brien and an ace by Emily Allen made the deficit too much for St. C. to overcome.
“We were up and down a lot,” Truchan said. “There wasn’t any rhythm. It all goes back to we have to play up. And when we have a minor error, our errors turn into large deficits and we can’t have those against teams that are solid like Steubenville or anyone else on our schedule.”
Sefsick finished with 10 kills and nine digs, while Sydney Porter collected nine digs and seven kills. Kenzie Schoolcraft had 28 digs and Shae Brookover had 11 assists.
Allen added 16 points, 25 assists and five digs for Steubenville. Maggie Cucarese had 12 points and 10 digs, and Makayla Abram had eight blocks and seven kills.
“We adjusted well,” Taylor said. “I thought, as the match went on, we were in the right places and that worked to our benefit.”