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Rebels dominate Dragons

SLAYTON -- One night after suffering its first conference loss of the season, the Murray County Central Rebel volleyball team rebounded with a sweep over Adrian Tuesday night in a Red Rock Conference match-up.

"I was a little bit (worried) that they would think about last night, but before the game, we talked about it," MCC head coach Donna Johansen said. "We don't want that to happen again. They came out ready to do their thing."

MCC (8-1, 14-5) won the first game, 25-14, before coming back with a 25-11 victory. The Rebels completed the sweep with a 25-5 victory in Game 3.

A night before, Southwest Christian defeated the Rebels, 3-2, in a battle of two teams that were undefeated in the Red Rock Conference.

"We played much better than last night," Johansen said. "Our passing was there and our digs were there. Last night we had trouble getting the ball to the setter for the hitters."

Adrian (6-4, 10-11) took the lead early in the first game behind the play of Bridgett Block (four kills, 15 digs). However, trailing 5-2, the Rebels went on a 9-0 run to take the lead.

The Dragons tried to climb back into the game, but MCC's Kate Robinson (six kills, 10 digs) had two hits to give the Rebels the 11-point victory.

"They are very aggressive, and that's something that every volleyball team wants to be," Adrian head coach Katie Prunty said. "So I give them props on staying aggressive and playing very good defense. We were just very slow tonight."

In Game 2, MCC's Emily Bose (14 kills, eight blocks) guided the Rebels to a 7-1 lead.

Adrian's Kourtney Kramer (four kills, 14 digs) had a kill to bring the Dragons to within six, but a healthy dose of Bose gave MCC the 25-11 victory.

"We definitely had to have much better blocking," Prunty said. "Our blocking and defense was definitely lacking. Against a team that's going to stay aggressive against you, you can't afford to do that."

Megan Graff and Briana Niebuhr each had an ace block to lead the Dragons.

With the score tied at 3-all in the third game, the Dragons could manage just two more points as MCC finished on a 22-2 run for the 25-5 victory.

For MCC, serving provided a big advantage throughout the entire match.

Bose (four aces), Maddie Robinson (2), Lydia Mesner (2) and Katie Robinson (1) all had at least one ace for the Rebels.

"I think we had one or two missed serves, so that's key," Johansen said. "I don't strategize too much on placement as much as getting it in."

MCC's Dani Onken had five blocks, while Maddie Robinson and Alyssa Schmidt had 10 and 8 set assists, respectively.

The Rebels will be off until Friday, when they travel to Marshall for a weekend tournament.

Next week, MCC will face Russell-Tyler-Ruthton on Monday before heading to Southwest Star Concept on Tuesday.

Adrian will return home on Thursday for the Dragon's last home match of the regular season.

"I think Thursday will be a good day for us," Prunty said. "We have Round Lake, which will be a very competitive game, and hopefully it'll go in our favor."

Prunty said that her team will have to play better to come out on top against the Raiders.

"It's our last home match, so hopefully they take that into consideration," Prunty said. "I don't know, we're just going to have to play much better to end the season on a good note."