Girls volleyball: Larkin rallies, earns Elgin bragging rights
It took three sets, but volleyball bragging rights reside on the west side for awhile.
Larkin held off Elgin in a back-and-forth third set to defeat the Maroons, 25-17, 21-25, 25-20 in Upstate Eight play Tuesday at the Palace.
Kylie Nosbisch had 4 kills to lead the Royals, who won their first match of the year at the expense of their crosstown rivals.
Morgan Miller and Victoria Didden added 3 kills apiece for the Royals (1-9). Libero Melanie Pardo had 18 digs, and Lilah Hanson added 14.
The Royals led the third set 21-17 but a service error gave the Maroons a final shot. With Taylor Butler serving, the Maroons took advantage of 2 Larkin errors to get within 21-20. But a Maroons error gave the Royals a much-needed sideout.
Nosbisch stepped to the line and served out the match with 3 straight points, including an ace.
Elgin won the second set and led 10-6 in the third before the Royals righted the ship.
"It was really about keeping the energy up and staying focused on the positives instead of the negatives," said Nosbisch. "Staying calm helped. When we start getting stressed out we play worse. Consistency is a big thing."
The Maroons led the second set 24-17 but the Royals made things interesting. A kill by Ava Willigman ignited a run of 4 straight points, but a Larkin error gave the Maroons the final point they needed.
After the second set letdown, Larkin coach Mattie Boyd got her team refocused.
"I just let them know it's all mental," said Boyd. "If they play their game, then we'll win. They're a very young team, so they get in their heads as soon as something like that happens. So when we started out the third game, I said its 0-0, reset, and it's a game to 25."
Olivia Venable and Ava Blalark each had 4 kills to lead the way for Elgin. Trinity Evans added 3 for the Maroons.
The Royals started quickly, rolling to a 20-10 lead in the first set before the Maroons rallied.
The Royals' first win was doubly sweet coming against the Maroons.
"It doesn't matter what records are, it's always a good game every time when we play each other," Boyd said.