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Lady Cats fall to Grace King

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / October 5, 1998

RESERVE – Volleyball teams try to avoid getting into the domino effect, letting the opponent run off a number of points in a row and getting too far behind to catch up.

East St. John ran into that domino effect in the third game against GraceKing Wednesday afternoon as the Lady Irish jumped out to a 10-2 lead on their way to a 15-12, 8-15, 15-7 victory in the Lady Cat gym.

Grace King, coming off a tournament title in the Grace King Tournament last weekend, improved to 17-5 on the season. East St. John, which alsocompeted in that tournament, defeating Riverdale and losing to Immaculata and Riverside, had its record evened at 8-8.

East St. John opened the third game Wednesday with a kill by Maria Lainezand an ace by Kayatanna Brown to take a 2-1 lead before Grace King rallied behind the serving of Rachel Culotta. A tip by Lindsey Barocco and a LadyCat error gave the Lady Irish a 6-2 lead. Two serves later, Kelly Puleoserved three aces, building the advantage to eight before East St. Johncalled another timeout.

East St. John came back after the timeout to break the Lady Irish’s serveon a kill by Lainez. The Lady Cats then begin to rally on an ace by JenniferWright and three Grace King errors to pull to within 10-6.

But after a timeout by Grace King, Barocco broke the serve with a kill and came back with another one to make it 11-6. Kimberly Bondio had a kill tomake it 13-6. The Lady Irish ended the match on an ace by Bondio and ablock by Puleo.

East St. John had opened the match by taking a 2-0 lead on a Grace Kingerror and a dink by Wright that led to another error. But again Grace Kinggot the domino effect rolling, using kills by Bondio and Larson and three East St. John errors to take a 5-2 lead.East St. John rallied as Wright delivered a cross-court spike into the rightcorner and a serve by Tammy Gunter forced the Lady Irish to return into the net. The Lady Cats continued the run after a Grace King timeout, usingtwo errors by the Lady Irish and a block by Brandi Serven to go ahead, 7-5.

After a kill by Brown gave East St. John an 8-7 lead, the game settleddown into a defensive battle as each team broke the other’s next four serves before Brown broke the stalemate with a kill. Two serves later,two kills by Brown and an ace by Wright gave the Lady Cats a 12-8 lead.

Grace King closed to within 12-10 on two Lady Cat errors with Larson serving. Three breaks later, the Lady Irish would close out the game on a5-0 run with Culotta serving. Two aces by Culotta and kills by Larson andBondio gave the Lady Irish game point.

East St. John got into into groove and quickly took control of the secondgame, jumping out to a 7-1 lead. Kills by Brown and Lainez, an ace byTregre and two Grace King errors gave the Lady Cats a 5-1 advantage. Twoserves later, that lead grew to six on a Grace King error and an ace by Brown.

Aces by Lainez and Gunter kept the Lady Irish at bay before Grace King pulled to within 11-8 on an ace by Culotta and two East St. John errors.But a kill by Lainez into the left corner and one by Brown along the back line and an error by the Lady Irish on a return gave the Lady Cats the game.

“We set goals and one was don’t have the domino effect,” East St. Johncoach Toni Robinette said. “In the third game, we should have rallied. Weare at 10-6 and we have the domino effect. We got jammed up at the netsetting up and we couldn’t pass. We are still working on a rotation thatworks for us. We are still trying to figure out what works.”

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