Chesterton Tribune

Trojans grind out difficult DAC win over LaPorte

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By Alex Daniels

CHESTERTON — When up is down and down is up in Duneland Athletic Conference girls volleyball, any win is one to hang on the mantle.

LaPorte, a perennial powerhouse in the DAC, limped into Chesterton on Thursday night and the Trojans were ready, handing the Slicers their third consecutive conference loss with a 25-18, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22 victory.

The win improves Chesterton’s DAC record to 4-3 at the halfway point of the conference season and more importantly gives the Trojans a confidence boost against a team that has been anything but beatable in the last several meetings.

“Tonight was big for our girls to beat the program,” Chesterton coach TR Harlan said. “We know they have a lot of stuff going on, but when the orange jerseys are on the other side of the court; you know it’s going to be a tough opponent.”

Tough was an understatement on Thursday night as the two teams traded punches, countered strategies and went down to the wire in three of the four games.

The Trojans started fast with a 25-18 victory in the first game and were rolling in the second game when LaPorte interim coach Karlee Lawson made a key strategic adjustment and instructed her team to start tipping the ball towards the middle of the court. What started as an aggressive front line assault changed to a slower, more deliberate pace of play.

“You have to give a lot of credit to Karlee for making a tremendous adjustment that we weren’t ready for,” Harlan said. “It was very similar to what we did when we beat them two years ago. I saw it; I smiled to myself and then I got upset.”

Harlan’s tongue-in-cheek anger gave way to bouts of uneasiness through the third and fourth games as the Slicers, while trailing for much of the final two games, would simply not go away. The Trojan attack was relatively simple on Thursday night as Korelle Melcarek would often be the player initiating the offense with her defensive prowess. Kate Nowak led the way with 32 assists and spent much of the night setting up either Emily Nix (19 kills) or Lydia Gill (14 kills).

Nix and Gill were incredibly aggressive in the front line, but it took the Trojans some time to settle into a groove against their talented opponents.

“It’s one of the first times in a long time that we came out too hyper,” Harlan said. “We needed to settle down a little bit. When the orange jerseys are lining up across from you, it’s easy to get too jacked up.”

The win was important for Chesterton as it keeps the Trojans within striking distance of a DAC title after Valparaiso’s loss to Lake Central on Thursday night. The Trojans are 4-3 in the conference and currently sit in third place.

“There are just no easy games in the DAC this season,” Harlan said. “I’ll take any win in this conference this season.”

Chesterton 25-23-25-25, LaPorte 18-25-21-22

AT CHESTERTON

Chesterton -- Jennifer Williams 4 kills, 2 block kills; Katie Urycki 3 kills, 7 digs, 2 service aces; Korelle Melcarek 20 digs; Michaela Raffin 10 digs; Emily Nix 19 kills, 4 block kills; Kate Nowak 5 kills, 42 assists, 8 digs, 3 block kills; Shelby Ruffner 5 kills, 3 block kills; Lydia Gill 14 kills, 8 digs; Ariane Mahaffey 2 kill, 3 digs.

Record -- Chesterto 10-4 (4-3 DAC).

Junior Varsity

LaPorte 25-25, Chesterton 15-12

The Chesterton junior varsity struggled and dropped a 25-15, 25-12 to unbeaten LaPorte on Thursday.

Kristin Lorenz and Jessica Urycki led the offense with three kills each, while Emily Marcus, Jocelyn Lipscomb and Shelby Snyder each added two kills.

Defensively, Ashley Hecimovich had 10 digs with Marcus, Shelby Carter and Thornton adding three digs each.

Freshman

Chesterton 25-25, LaPorte 6-16

The Chesterton freshman team improved to 7-4 on the year with a 25-6, 25-16 win over LaPorte.

Samantha Stueber had eight kills to lead the Trojans. Jacklyn Moleski, April Melcarek and Whitney Schreiber each had two kills.

Melcarek dished out a team-best 15 assists.

Jordyn Moleski led the team with four service aces and eight digs.

 

 

 

Posted 9/16/2011