Clarke was on the verge of breaking through for wins in both the first and second sets before falling due to late mistakes last Tuesday in a three-set home loss to Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont.
The Rockets jumped out to leads of 7-3 and 12-8 in the first set before things came together for the Lady Indians.
Both squads traded blows and Clarke went ahead 22-20 thanks to an Audrey Kindred ace and a Deseree Stubbe kill, one of her seven total kills, off a Kindred assist. Kindred ended the evening 10-of-12 on serves with three aces. E-B-F rallied back with several kills and Clarke committed several mistakes to enable the Rockets to take set one.
Clarke raced in front 13-7 in set two thanks to a stretch over which Sydney Garrett tallied one of her four kills, which was then followed by a kill each from Sadie Marker and Cady Crawford, which was one of six for Crawford.
Things came apart for the Lady Indians when they began to play on their heels and lose their aggression.
“It’s a whole different team in practice. We don’t have that fun, enthusiastic, rolling with the points, being aggressive things that I need to see,” Clarke coach Molly Audlehelm said.
Emalee Davis, who also led E-B-F with 11 digs, went on a serving run to tie the match at 13-13. Clarke did retake the lead 22-19, but couldn’t hold on at the end as several kills, and numerous hard swings from Taylor Caves (six posted six kills), swung things the Rockets’ way. Stubbe’s quick tap knocked the ball to the floor for a 24-24 tie, but E-B-F finished things off by playing clean.
“We practice quicks (hits) and we practice different hits in practice but I never see it in a game and I keep telling them our momentum and our tempo has to step it up,” Audlehelm said. “We have to start being that quicker team the team that (opposing) defense(s) finds unexpected that they don’t know what’s coming, when it’s coming.”
E-B-F leaped in front 13-7 in the third set thanks in large part to powerful kills from Grace Roberts. Roberts led E-B-F with 12 kills on a night the Rockets recorded 30.
Stubbe led the Lady Indians’ charge back to tie the set 15-15, but Brooke Shafer and Paige Harter gave the Rockets the last bit of fuel they needed to end the match on a run in which they scored seven of the final eight points.
Clarke put together its best serving performance of the season up to that point, going 50-57 on serves.
While Audlehelm was encouraged to see more engagement defensively, she indicated a desire to see her girls up their effort on approaching every play. She has a message that she demands they adhere to.
“We can’t be the spectator, we have to be the player,” Audlehelm said.
Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 3, Clarke 0
Serving (aces) — Clarke: Sydney Garrett 12-13, Audrey Kindred 10-12 (3), Sarah Davis 8-8, Megan Linskens 8-8 (1), Deseree Stubbe 7-7, Cady Crawford 5-9 (2).
Kills — Clarke: Stubbe 7, Crawford 6, Garrett 4, Linskens 3, Caitlin Clark 3, Sadie Marker 2, Kindred 1.
Blocks (solo, assists) — Clarke: Stubbe (3,1), Clark (1,0).
Setting (assists) — Clarke: Linskens 10, Clark 1, Crawford 1, Marker 1, Ashlynn Oehlert 1.
Digs — Clarke: Oehlert 13, Stubbe 7, Davis 4, Garrett 4, Crawford 4, Clark 4, Emma Bolton 1, Kindred 1, Marker 1.
Lady Indians split at Pvlle triangular
PLEASANTVILLE — Clarke grabbed a 2-1 win over the Trojans 25-19, 19-25, 15-8 Thursday and dropped a match to Mount Ayr 25-15, 25-14.
In the win over Pleasantville, Crawford’s eight kills led Clarke. She also tallied five digs.
Oehlert posted 11 digs, while Stubbe and Garrett each had five apiece.
Stubbe smashed five kills and Kiaya Dunbar had four. Stubbe also was 11-11 with three aces on serves. Dunbar added a solo and an assisted block.
Kindred was 13-15 on serves and Linskens was 7-8. Kindred also tallied 15 assists and Linskens added seven.
In the loss to the Raiderettes, Garrett’s six kills were tops for Clarke. Stubbe had five, Crawford posted four kills and Dunbar added three.
Stubbe paced Clarke with seven digs, Kindred had seven assists and Linskens added six.