Taconic Volleyball Battles Back but Falls to Ware

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Pittsfield volleyball team Wednesday rallied from a nine-point third-set deficit to tie the score before Ware held on for a three-set win.
Callie Orszulak recorded nine aces for the visitors, who went home with a 25-16, 25-16, 25-22 win that dropped Taconic to 1-2 this fall.
Taconic started strong in the third set, taking a 5-2 lead on Ruby Robertson’s lead.
But after Ware earned a side out, Kaley Campbell served six straight points to give her team a lead.
A couple of rotations later, Orszulak’s ace capped her five-set run to give Ware a 16-7 lead.
But a Ware service error at 18-8 gave the ball to Taconic libero Ciana Bennett, who served six straight points to get the lead down to three and keep her squad in the match.
“I’m really proud of these guys,” Taconic coach Lance Fyfe said. “They just kind of put it all out there in the third. We started out slow, but, man, they sure did pour it on. That was nice. They were aggressive, had a lot of nice plays on the net, some really good serving from Ciana Bennett.”
Bennett finished the match with a team-high three aces. She also led the team in digs with seven.
Nyashia Daniels put away eight kills to go with three blocks and a pair of aces.
One of those Daniels kills came during the run that got Taconic back into the third set.
Alana Petricca served three straight points, ending with an ace to make it 21-21. But a free ball from Taconic on the next point was ruled just over the side line to give Ware a side out.
The visitors cashed in with a pair of points on Campbell’s serve, but Daniels put away a kill to stave off the first match point and get Taconic the serve at 22-24.
But Ware earned the next point to dash the home team’s comeback hopes.
Jenna Gustafson had seven kills, and Brenna McNeice passed out 15 assists and pulled up a pair of digs in the loss.
Taconic went toe-to-toe with Ware in the first set before Orsuzulak went to the service line with her team up, 18-16, and proceeded to serve out the match, notching several aces in the seven-point run.
Ware took an early lead in the second on three straight service points from Campbell to make it 6-1, and Taconic never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.
It was able to build a little momentum at the end of the second set when Daniels got the ball down 23-10 and served five straight points in a run that featured a pair of Gustafson kills to stave off elimination.
But moments later, a Nathalie Cruz kill ended the set for Ware.
One of the keys for Taconic in getting back into the match in the third was the net play of Daniels, Gustafson and Naomi Tayi.
“We have some really good blockers, real aggressive play at the net,” Fyfe said. “We touched the net a few times, but it’s an improvement from our first match of the season against Monument. We are definitely improving. We just have to work on keeping ourselves at that point where we know we can play, and we have to hold onto that.”
Taconic hosts Springfield Central on Friday.
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