By Rob Potter
FALLSBURG The Liberty Lady Indians rebounded from a first game loss to defeat the host Fallsburg Lady Comets on Wednesday in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV volleyball match.
Liberty prevailed, 21-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-16.
The first game was tied several times. With the score even at 21-21, Fallsburg (1-12, 1-11 Div. IV) took advantage of mistakes by the Lady Indians to grab a 24-21 lead. Fallsburg’s Shanice Mack served an ace to win the game.
In the second game, Liberty (3-9, 3-9 Div. IV) began to serve better. Courtney Sawyer served three aces as the Lady Indians scored five straight points to take a 13-7 lead.
Moments later, Mack recorded an ace to tie the score at 23-23. But two bad hits by the Lady Comets allowed Liberty to win, 25-23.
In game 3, Liberty jumped out to a 15-7 lead as senior libero Sharon Benzenburg had three aces.
Liberty outscored Fallsburg by a 10-8 margin during the rest of the game to win 25-15.
Esa Cano served a pair of aces to help the Lady Indians take a 12-3 advantage in game 4.
Jewelisa Trujillo served back-to-back aces to bring the Lady Comets within five at 12-7. But Liberty then outscored Fallsburg 13-9 to win the game. Fittingly, Cano ended the match with an ace.
Benzenburg, Sawyer and Tea Williams led Liberty. Benzenburg had 10 service points, seven aces, four assists and three digs. Sawyer recorded 18 service points, 10 aces, two kills and one block. Williams had eight kills, four service points and two blocks.
Liberty Coach Lori Kachelmeyer noted that the key to victory was doing well in two fundamental areas.
“Serving and passing, those are the basics,” she said. “If you have good serving and passing, you are going to win.”
While Kachelmeyer noted her players are still learning and have some things to work on; she was very pleased with how they earned the victory.
“Our win-loss record does not indicate how well these girls are playing,” she said. “They are doing everything they possibly can to play this sport the way it’s supposed to be played.”
Mack, Mejia and Alexis McCarthy paced Fallsburg. Mack registered six service points, six digs, three aces and two kills. Mejia had 12 digs, 10 service points, four aces and one assist. McCarthy recorded four kills and two digs.
“We started out playing well in the first game,” Fallsburg Coach Andrea Millas said. “And we were leading late in the second game when we had to replay a point. If we didn’t replay that point, I think we would have won the game. It changed the whole momentum of the match. Liberty won that game and then they took a big lead in the third game and we couldn’t recover.”
Millas was referring to a moment late in game 2 when the Lady Comets took a 24-23 lead. But the scoreboard buzzer inadvertently sounded during the point and the officials ruled that the point be replayed. Liberty won the point and the next one to win the game.
Wednesday’s match marked the third time the Lady Indians and Lady Comets have met this season. And Liberty has prevailed in all three matches.
“We have given Liberty all three of their wins,” Millas said. “It’s a little heartbreaking.”
But she is looking for her team to improve as the season continues.
“We need some consistency and we need more confidence,” Millas said.