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Kaskaskia edges Warriors in 5-set GRAC thriller

(from the Wabash Valley website)

Mt. Carmel, Ill. – Kaskaskia had yet to play in a four-set match this season.

Or a five-set match.

But when stretched to the limit by Wabash Valley in Thursday night’s crucial Great Rivers Athletic Conference matchup, the Blue Angels did not wilt. Instead, they recorded a 15-13 win in the fifth set for a 3-2 match win to remain undefeated in the league race.

Kaskaskia, now 10-1 on the season, improved to 6-0 in the GRAC. Wabash Valley fell to 6-3 overall, and 4-3 in the league.

“It was a battle to the end,” said WVC coach Mark Colvin.

Colvin said the final set “came down to a 13-13 game. A very fine line at that point” that the Blue Angels crossed for the win.

“It was just a battle back and forth,” echoed Warrior freshman hitter Mariah Jones. “We knew it was going to be like that.”

WVC won the opening set, 25-23, but Kaskaskia countered with a 25-21 to even the match at one-game apiece.

The third set was perhaps the most emotional of the match. The Warriors trailed, 14-8, before rallying for a 25-21 triumph.

“Our energy was up,” said hitter Emilee Bishop, who finished the set off with a cross-net kill in front of the Kaskaskia front line. “We just really wanted to win that game. We fought hard.”

Bishop, a Norris City freshman, also helped lead a Warrior blocking attack that seemed better fortified for the match.

“We’ve been working hard on it in practice. It’s really helped me because I’m working on a few new techniques and stuff,” she said.

Kaskaskia, with its’ back against the wall, responded with a solid 25-15 win in the fourth game, to force the tiebreaker fifth set.

Taylor Powell led the way with 20 kills for the winners. Brooklyn Smith was next with 15, but it was Molly Diekemper who had the highest attack percentage on the night, killing 10 of 21 attempts for an average of .476.

Wabash Valley is home again on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. against Frontier (3-13).