Playing its third match this week against Lima Central Catholic on Saturday, Elida was playing on reserve energy, and it had been additionally drained due to a five-set loss to Celina on Thursday.
Despite being emotionally and physically depleted, the Bulldogs responded with a 3-0 victory against a young and undermanned Lima Central Catholic team in a non league affair. The Bulldogs won 25-20, 25-17 and 25-23.
Elida improves to 4-3 on the year and LCC falls to 3-4 for the season.
“This is our third game this week, and we have one on Monday so we are a little tired, and Thursday we went five against Celina, and it was pretty intense,” Bulldog head coach Traci Sneary said. “At times we played well and sometimes we don’t talk but overall I thought we did OK.”
The three sets reflected both teams inconsistencies but it was apparent Elida had more firepower and experience and that eventually prevailed in the end.
In the first two games, Elida broke out to early leads only to watch the Thunderbirds rally to make them close and then in the deciding third set, LCC held the lead for much of the contest before being overtaken by the Bulldogs.
Thunderbird head coach Ron Coleman said his team was playing without one its hitters and that led to some roster adjustments.
“The first set we were down by five or six and came back and went up by two so they were in it,” Coleman said. “Serving really hurt us today but otherwise they are a competitive group that wants to win.”
Coleman added that an example of how tough his girls worked was the final set where they took it down to the end and were up 23-22 before stumbling at the end.
“It is a very competitive group, and they love to win, and they get down on themselves when they get behind because they don’t like to lose which who does,” Coleman said.
Elida’s Kylie Vorhees provided the firepower after the sophomore recorded 15 kills on the day. Also doing damage were Evelyn Frueh and Addisyn Freeman with eight kills each.
Sneary added that they also did nice job defensively at the net with some big blocks. Candace Miller was also instrumental on the blocking end. Miller also had 31 assists and 17 digs.
With a big game against St. Henry on Monday, Sneary said the team isn’t still where it should be but she has seen development and looks to continue that as the Bulldogs enter the middle part of the season.
“It is a process, and they are trying to get into the groove of things,” Sneary said. “They are coming along good, and they are developing. I think we should be along more but it is coming and they will get there no doubt. They are very talented and very athletic. They want to come and win. They work hard, and they know what it takes to win.”
For Coleman and his inexperienced Thunderbirds, it is still a matter of finding some consistency.
“We are still trying to get in that right frame of mind and in that groove,” Coleman said. “It is a young team but we are getting there.”
Coleman added that he would also like to see better defense from his team.
“We are still learning that base defense where some of them were out of position,” Coleman said. “We work on that every day so we are going to get back in there.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.