With one swing, Kayla Jones kept Archbishop Chapelle from falling into a two-set hole in a home match against Sacred Heart. With a whole bunch more, she made sure the Chipmunks won in four.
Jones’ dink over Sacred Heart’s frontline tied the score at 24 in the second set. Archbishop Chapelle won that game 27-25 on a kill by Samantha Mracich and took control of a tight match, outlasting the Cardinals 22-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-23 in a spirited non-district match on Wednesday night.
Jones had a run of seven consecutive service points in the third set as Archbishop Chapelle (2-1) went ahead for good, 11-4. She had several of her match-high 22 kills on powerful spikes in the fourth set, including the final one to put Chapelle ahead 24-22 before the night ended two points later when Sacred Heart (0-2) made an error.
But her key hit had no power at all. She simply placed the ball into an open spot of the court as Chapelle avoided a two-set deficit.
“That definitely brought us the energy,” she said. “It gave us the power to slam the next one, which was great. It was a good feeling.”
Jones, a junior, had 17 kills in a season-opening five-set victory against Cabrini. Once this match was even, she got on an even bigger roll.
“She was huge,” first-year Chapelle coach Shannon Spafford said. “She could see the court. She knows what’s going on. She definitely was our go-to (player) tonight.”
Sacred Heart, which has two freshman and several sophomores playing prominent roles, won a close first set that neither team led by more than three points thanks to a 3-0 run at the start and a 3-0 spurt at the end. Middle blocker Emily Frischertz, the lone senior on the roster, contributed with her serve, her defense and her hitting, putting the Cardinals ahead for good, 23-22, with a kill.
“I had good connections with my setters, and setters had good connections with my passes,” Frischertz said. “It’s all about the team.”
Frischertz’ nine kills were one off the team high of 10 by Ellie Silvia, but Silvia committed more errors.
The mistakes came in bunches for Sacred Heart in the third and fourth games, when it fell behind by large margins (20-10 in set 3; 16-11 in set 4) before rallying late. The Cardinals actually went ahead 21-20 in the fourth game –its first lead since 5-4--before falling short.
Sacred Heart lost its opener in five sets to Ursuline Academcy.
“We’re getting so close,” coach Ashley Rukert said. “We are playing very well. We just have to eliminate the unforced errors. We just dig ourselves some holes. We do play well out of them, but we don’t always get the sets.”
Emily Kennedy had 26 digs for Chapelle, whose entire roster is juniors and seniors. Mallory Knudson added 43 assists.
Brittany St. Pierre had 26 digs for Sacred Heart.
in a match that featured numerous long points, particularly in the first two games. The points got shorter when Jones took over.
“The key for us was to take the momentum of the game back,” Spafford said. “We made it a more fast-paced game. When we get the game moving quickly, we can take advantage. The first game was slow paced.”