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MCC tops Fulda

FULDA -- Pulling out nail-biting victories in Games 3 and 4 Tuesday night, the Murray County Central Rebels defeated the Fulda Raiders, 20-25, 25-19, 26-24, 26-24, in Red Rock Conference volleyball action.

The victory keeps the Rebels in second place in the conference, as they are now 8-2 in league play (a half-game in front of Edgerton) and 14-4-3 overall. Fulda is now 6-3 in the conference and 13-6-1 overall.

"I told the girls that they needed to dominate at the net," MCC co-head coach Donna Johansen said following the match. "We got better as the night progressed, and were able to beat a very good team in Fulda."

With the match tied at one game apiece, Fulda looked to take advantage in Game 3, jumping out to an 11-6 lead with the help of two kills each from Kaitlyn Kramer and Laura Kramer.

MCC rallied back to take the lead at 16-15, as Emily Bose started to heat up at the net -- slamming three of her team-high 14 kills during that stretch. She also had four ace blocks in the match.

The Rebels extended their lead to 21-17 after three straight service points from Allisen Carlson, and later came within a point (24-19) of winning after three straight kills by Bose, Renee Felber and Caitlyn Petersen (11 set assists, 11 digs).

However, Laura Kramer (14 kills, five ace blocks) came up with an off-balance kill to trigger a five-point run for the Raiders, tying the game at 24-all. Sam Raddle (37 set assists) served for four straight points, including an ace, and Laura Kramer's ace block to tie the game electrified Fulda's fans.

MCC, though, slammed the door by getting a kill from Felber before Bose and Laura Beers (18 set assists, 11 digs) teamed up to block the Raiders for a point, giving the Rebels the 26-24 victory.

Game 4 started out back-and-forth (15-all tie), as Bose continued to make her presence felt with three kills and an ace block, while Fulda countered with a combined eight kills and an ace block from Kaitlyn Kramer and Laura Kramer.

Fulda then outscored MCC 9-6 to earn a game point (24-21), as Raddle's dump kill, and Mandy Gunderman's ace block sparked the Raiders, who needed the victory to force a Game 5.

But the Rebels fought back to tie the game at 24-all before taking the lead on Michelle Ellefson's ace serve. Ashley Bose then capped the MCC comeback by putting down a kill, giving the Rebels another 26-24 victory and the match.

"It was two-evenly matched teams out there tonight," Fulda head coach Jessica Hogan said. "They made a few more plays than us and limited their mistakes in crunch time."

Fulda won Game 1, 25-20, by scoring the final five points, as the scoring surge capped a game that featured 14 ties and five lead exchanges.

Susan Fenske (17-of-18 serving, 10 points) served one of her three aces on the night, while Kaitlyn Kramer (18 kills, 17-for-19 serving for 10 points) knocked down two kills, and Laura Kramer charted a kill to fuel the late-game burst for Fulda.

MCC opened up an 8-3 lead in Game 2, as Beers had an ace block, and Felber and Carlson (three ace blocks) each had a kill to spark the Rebels.

Fulda climbed back in it by scoring the next five points, with a fantastic dig from Gunderman -- who finished with 13 digs on the night -- going over the net for a point and tying the game at 8-all.

The score remained close (14-all) until MCC went on an 11-5 run to win 25-19, as Felber (14 digs, seven kills) and Ashley Bose each had two kills, and Tosha Brown had an ace serve to key the spurt for the Rebels.

Brittany Freese charted 15 digs for Fulda, which visits Hills-Beaver Creek Thursday. MCC plays at a tournament in Marshall this weekend.