(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
DEXTER -- Celebrating senior night on Monday, the Dexter Lady Bearcats saw a pair of mid-set rallies by Notre Dame lift the Lady Bulldogs to a straight-set win 25-12, 25-11.
"We're going to have to learn how to pick it up, play as a team and get fired up," Dexter head coach Lauren Hutchcraft said. "I felt like we were lacking the enthusiasm, aggressiveness and determination needed in order to get out there and play to win."
Opening up the first set, the Lady Bearcats (18-9-2) were able to hang with the Lady Bulldogs (23-7-1) early, battling point-for-point until Notre Dame held a 10-9 edge.
From that point on, however, the Lady Bulldogs went on a 15-2 run to close out the set despite Dexter calling a pair of timeouts to try and regroup.
After calling their first timeout down 14-9, the Lady Bearcats came out of the break and watched Notre Dame's Olivia Roth rattle off three straight aces to push her team towards a 22-10 advantage, at which point Dexter used its final timeout of the set.
Though the Lady Bearcats were able to take two of the next five points, one on a Hannah Noe kill, the hole was too deep as the Lady Bulldogs pushed on to the 25-12 win.
"It was 10-10 and then it ended up being 25-12," Notre Dame head coach Tara Stroup said. "So we had a long run there toward the end. We had one server (Roth) that kept mixing the serves up.
"She can serve short and then she serves deep so they didn't know what to do. They weren't getting to run their offense. I think once they got behind it got to them down a little bit, but it does the same things to (when that happens)."
Playing out much like the first set, Dexter opened up the third set battling point-for-point with the Lady Bulldogs until a 6-2 run capped by a Myriah Bernard kill forced the Lady Bearcats to call a timeout at 12-7. Picking up where they left off before the break, Notre Dame continued to push ahead, taking 11 of the next 14 points to go up 23-10.
After Dexter scored one last point on a missed Notre Dame serve, the Lady Bulldogs closed out the win with back-to-back kills from Miranda Fowler.
"We have a strong offense and I keep telling the girls swing, swing, swing," Stroup said. "We have to hit. The first game, at the beginning, that's what we were doing. But we were giving them a lot of free balls and we were having a lot of long rallies back-and-forth when we just needed to terminate the ball.
"I think we did a better job of that in the second half of both games as to hitting the ball to the floor."
As for her team's struggles, Hutchcraft pointed to problems in the passing game, which kept the offense off balance most of the night.
"Every time we passed it was not a good pass," she said. "We had a lot of overpasses over the net and they would take advantage of those. The main things I think in the match was our passing."
Leading the Lady Bearcats front court on the contest, Jessica Lindsey head a team-high five kills and four blocks while coming up with three digs and an ace. Brittany Harris had three kills, two blocks and two digs with Noe leading coming up with a team-high 12 digs while adding four assists and a kill.
Erika Mouser had nine digs and Lindsey Hindman contributed four digs, a kill and a block.
For the Lady Bulldogs, Bernard had a match-high nine kills, followed by Kate Edwards and Brooke Bohnert with five and four respectively. Dani Roosman contributed 12 assists with Roth coming up with a game-high 18 digs and three aces.
Earlier in the evening in the junior varsity contest, Notre Dame edged out Dexter in a tight third set to win 24-26, 25-7, 27-25.
In the final set, the Lady Bearcats had held a 23-19 lead before the Lady Bulldogs rallied to tie things at 24-24. After swapping the next two points, Notre Dame took advantage of a missed Dexter serve before scoring the final point to seal the win.