CARSON CITY – The Carson City-Crystal Eagles fought hard but still lost to Beal City in the volleyball district semifinal Thursday.
Beal City – ranked fourth in Class C – swept the Eagles 25-11, 25-14, 25-15 in a match that was closer than the scores indicate.
“I thought we played pretty good tonight,” Aggies coach Randy Gallagher said. “Obviously, Carson City brought it. I give them a lot of credit. There were a couple of times our kids let down and they kept pushing on us.”
Eagles coach Megan Merlo agreed her team played well.
“I don’t think we played bad,” Merlo said. “Beal City is a real good team. They played well.”
Game one was tied at 4-4 when the Aggies went on a 10-1 run to open a commanding lead. The Aggies finished the game with a 9-6 run.
“Our serve receive hurt us tonight,” Merlo said. “We played well and never gave up.”
“I thought we served the ball real well tonight,” Gallagher said. “We held them back from getting into their offense a little bit. When that first pass goes backward or straight up it helps us because we can get free balls off that. Our serve is a big part of our offense.”
In game two, the Eagles were within four points, down 15-11. They could not get any closer and the Aggies finished the game with a 10-3 rally.
“I’m proud of my team for never giving up,” Merlo said. “Beal City is just a very good team and they will continue to do well.”
Game three was similar to the second game. The Eagles were close, down 14-10, but could not get any closer and lost 25-15.
Heather Griffis led the Aggies wtih 14 kills and 12 digs. Monica David added 12 kills and 12 digs while Jade Kennedy had 37 assists and four digs.
Tomberlee Smith led the Eagles with nine digs. Sara Schneider had seven digs. Emily Ward and Micala Decker each had four kills.
Beal City improved to 46-4 overall and the Eagles ended their first season under Merlo at 23-22-8.
“We had a great year,” Merlo said. “We finished fourth in the league when we were expected to finish last. That is a big positive for us and overall a successful season for us.”