October 9, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – It looked early on like the John A. Logan College volleyball team would make quick work of a Lake Land Lakers team Wednesday night that was without its All-American performer, Cleuza Porto, who has a broken foot.

The Volunteers took a commanding two-set lead (25-17 and 25-18). But at the collegiate level, it’s a best-of-five sets rather than three in high school competition. And Logan failed to put the Lakers away, losing the remaining three sets: 25-17, 25-16, 17-15.

Vols head coach Bill Burnside was disappointed with the turn of events.

“We just couldn’t close them out,” he said. “We have a lot of younger players and we got out of sorts and had a hard time putting things back together once we lost a set. To Lake Land’s credit, they kept the intensity up on their serves. They were very aggressive all night.”

Burnside said his team needs to learn how to put an opponent away when on the ropes.

“More than anything, we didn’t handle our emotions very well when things started going against us. We didn’t stay in system and we couldn’t deliver the knockout punch when we had to have it.”

Despite losing the third and fourth sets and trailing most of the fifth set, Logan still had one match point following a kill shot by sophomore outside hitter Audrey Vaughn. The Lakers were able to tie the game at 14, however, when Vaughn’s next kill attempt was blocked down for a point.

Freshman Carly Callahan paced the Vols’ offense with 13 kills, seven of which came in Game 2. She also recorded 11 digs on defense. Vaughn finished with 10 kills and nine digs. Morgan Corn added six kills and Chynna Byars had five in a reserve role.

Freshman Kierra Nolan was tops in blocks with six. Sophomore Megan Martin led in assists with 35 and added a team-high three service aces to go along with 11 digs. Sophomore Erin Dodd had the most digs with 19.

“We just have to be tougher mentally in games like this,” Burnside said. “When the game turns around, you have to have players who want to fight to get things back your way.”

Logan falls to 13-5 overall and 5-2 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference. The Lakers improve to 7-1 in the league and 15-6 overall.

Logan competes in a tournament hosted by Lincoln Land College in Springfield this weekend and then resumes league play next Wednesday at Rend Lake.