Lady Eagles topple Lady Cougars

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By Andrew Harner

FARINA – Perry Manley and Savannah Feezel have things figured out.

The senior duo from St. Elmo led the Lady Eagles to a 17-25, 25-17, 25-15 win against National Trail Conference rival South Central last Thursday, with Manley assisting Feezel on 13 kills during the game, including the back-breaking points in the third set,

“Savannah had some great kills tonight,” said St. Elmo coach Elise Asher. “It was fabulous.”

Ahead 20-13 in the third set, the first big point started when senior Katie Stites dug up an attack from South Central senior Kallie Garrett – on one of the hardest spikes of the night – to start a long rally.

By the rally’s end, Manley’s set to Feezel went for their 12th kill, and two points later, the two connected again to take a 21-14 lead.

“She hit that hard, back toward their setter on the far side,” Asher said. “That was really a momentum swing for us, because that was a big hit.”

Manley had 18 assists in the game, and Stites was St. Elmo’s second-leading attacker, with nine kills.

South Central coach Mary Brimberry said while Feezel and Stites are talented players, the Lady Cougars could have stopped some of their attacks if they had employed a better blocking scheme.

“That was something that we should have been able to cover, but for whatever reason, we didn’t get it done,” Brimberry said. “Sometimes, we get anxious and try to cover too close, so we need to stay back a little.”

South Central (1-1, 1-1 NTC) employed its own attack fairly well, too, as sophomore Maria Brasel had 15 assists to help junior Lincoln Brasel to eight kills and senior Kallie Garrett to seven.

Twice during the game, Garrett had a hard spike dug out by Stites, but Asher said Garrett’s potent attack was enough to employ a defensive shift.

“She is a good hitter and had some nice swings,” Asher said. “She caught the line pretty well on us, and we had to make some adjustments on blocking her.”

Maria Brasel also led the Lady Cougars with four service aces, and she will be part of a nice setting duo when senior Natalie Chapman returns soon after her bout with pneumonia.

Brasel was key to South Central winning the first set, as she opened the set serving the first three points and then closed it with three aces in nine serves to give the Lady Cougars a 24-16 lead.

“There was a couple of times where their serve was very aggressive and got us on our heels,” Asher said. “They’re good athletes over there, and they always play hard.”

St. Elmo senior Heather Seibert came out firing in the second set, however, serving three straight aces to give the Lady Eagles a 9-2 lead, and after that, the Lady Eagles (1-1, 1-0 NTC) would lead by at least six points for the rest of the set.

Seven times in that set, Manley set Feezel for a kill, and Asher acknowledged that better passing in the final two sets is why the Lady Eagles earned the victory.

Brasel opened the third set with two straight points, but after ties at 2-2 and 3-3, the Lady Eagles again took off, going ahead on an ace from senior Megan Maxey and never again losing the lead.

“Any time we play St. Elmo, we’re always up, and now that they are a conference team, we wanted it that much more,” Brimberry said. “Our overall game was good, but there were a few small things that we couldn’t take care of.”

Thursday, Aug. 30
South Central 25, St. Elmo 17
St. Elmo 25, South Central 17
St. Elmo 25, South Central 15
Lady Eagles
Kills: Feezel, 13; Stites, 9; Seibert, 3; Manley, 2; M. Maxey, 1.
Aces: Seibert, 4; Manley, 2; M. Maxey, 2; Stites, 1.
Assists: Manley, 18; Stites, 3; Seibert, 1.
Blocks: Maxey, 1 ½; Feezel, 1; Stites, ½.
Record: 1-1 (1-0 NTC)
Lady Cougars
Kills: L. Brasel, 8; Garrett, 7; Kellie Crain, 3; Jaci Rothe, 3; Lexi Schafer, 3; M. Brasel, 1.
Aces: M. Brasel, 4; Riley Williams, 1.
Assists: M. Brasel, 15; Taylor Keen, 5; Rothe, 3; Garrett, 1.
Blocks: L. Brasel, 1; Garrett, ½; Rothe, ½.
Record: 1-1 (1-1 NTC)