Five-set effort falls short for Huskies

LEWISTOWN – Mifflin County played its best volleyball of the season, but got upended 3-2 by scores of 25-12, 24-26, 16-25, 25-15, 15-13 to Millersburg Wednesday night in a tightly contested Tri-Valley League volleyball game.

“I think that is the best we’ve played,” Mifflin County coach Jill Zeger said. “I’ve seen a level of intensity from the girls tonight. They really stuck together. They passed well, served well. It was an excellent display of teamwork tonight.”

Kaitlyn Dreese came through for the Huskies with 18 digs, 15 service points and 15 assists, including a stretch of serves that really got things going.

“Kaitlyn did a nice job of serving aggressively and serving to specific spots where she knew there might be an opportunity to score a point on a serve,” Zeger said. “I felt like a lot of our girls did a nice job. Hayley Hower did a nice job of aggressive serving.”

Hower’s ace put the Huskies on the board first, who dropped six-straight points and fell behind 6-1 before they rallied to make it 11-7.

Part of that rally was Jenna Snyder’s vicious spike that got them out of the early hole.

“I felt like our girls were really swinging hard,” Zeger said. “Jenna and Anna both were swinging very well. JoHanna Laub did a nice job in keeping that ball in and being consistent with swinging.”

Outside of Snyder, the Huskies lost the battle at the net in the first set with Millersburg’s Taryn Herb providing the most trouble.

Herb disappeared for most of the following four sets, but dropped the Huskies 25-12 in the first.

The beginning of the second set was a different story for Mifflin County.

Dreese got the Huskies off to a great start with six-straight service points and a dig in between to retain the serve.

Anna Aurand’s ace extended the lead to 8-1 for the Huskies early on in the second set.

Millersburg scored the following five points to draw it to 8-6 before Jessica Millard reached over the net to give Mifflin County the momentum breaking point.

Millersburg came all the way back to tie the game at 11-11 and 12-12, before an errant serve gave Mifflin County the lead back at 14-12.

After a ball dropped between four Mifflin County players to tie the set at 23, the closest to it, Aurand, made up for it in a big way.

She scored the point to put them up for good, leading to them eventually taking the second set 26-24.

“They looked a little heavy on the court during the first set,” Zeger said. “Not moving their feet, not quite flowing as one team. I felt like the second set until the fifth one, they did a nice job of working as one complete unit.”

The Huskies started the third set strong again, grabbing a quick 8-1 with contributions from everyone.

After Millersburg trimmed a 20-10 Huskies lead to 20-14, Zeger called a timeout and her team scored the following four points to make it 24-14.

Shania Teenie’s shot that landed just inside the boundary line gave the Huskies their final point and a 25-16 third-set victory.

It was Dreese who got the Huskies on the board in the fourth set when her serve ended in a Mifflin County point, making it 3-1 Millersburg.

Millersburg turned the tables on the Huskies, taking an 8-1 lead to start the fourth set before the Huskies scored four of the next five points.

Snyder’s block cut back into Millersburg’s lead, making it 14-9 Indians.

Following two Millersburg points, Chloe Benner scored five-straight service points to get the Huskies to within two at 16-14.

“Definitely set four and set three I thought our offense was very aggressive,” Zeger said. “It was nice to see.”

The Indians came back strong, taking nine of the following 10 points to win the set 25-15.

After Millersburg took a 5-1 lead, Mifflin County came right back to knot the fifth and final set at 5-5.

Dreese got the Huskies within one point when she placed back-to-back shots perfectly out of reach of Millersburg.

Mifflin County took its last lead of the game when it gained a 13-12 advantage on a spike.

Millersburg answered back with three-straight points to win the decisive set 15-13.

Laub led the team with five kills while Snyder totaled four kills and one block.

The Huskies junior varsity team won 2-1 over Millersburg 17-25, 25-11, 15-8.

Mifflin County will be in action 7 p.m. today when it hosts Red Land.

“Our focus has been to control what we can,” Zeger said. “Serving is something we can control and every free ball being controlled up to target is something we can control.”