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Quasars sweep past Rebels

OKABENA -- Fueled by a 10-0 surge early in Game 1 Tuesday night, the Southwest Star Concept volleyball team earned a dominating sweep over the Murray County Central Rebels, 25-9, 25-12, 25-15, to finish second in the Red Rock Conference standings.

SSC (10-1, 18-7) finishes a game ahead of the Rebels (9-2, 17-9) in the league standings, while Southwest Christian (11-0, 20-7) won the conference crown.

"We played a beautiful match tonight," SSC head coach Rick Haberman said. "Our overall team play was outstanding, as we served and attacked aggressively and we scrapped well defensively."

MCC jumped out to a 5-2 lead in Game 1 behind a trio of kills from Emily Bose (seven kills).

SSC, though, controlled the rest of the game. Sydney Place and Michelle Olsem each had an ace block, and Jenna Leopold (eight kills) had a kill to spark the Quasars on a 10-0 run which produced a 12-5 lead.

The Quasars continued to stretch the lead, as Erika Post (20-for-21 serving with 17 points and nine aces, nine digs, two ace blocks) generated points on two kills and an ace block, and Place (11-for-12 serving with eight points and three aces, seven kills) scored twice on an ace serve and a kill to propel SSC to a 16-point victory.

SSC carried the momentum into the start of Game 2, as a kill from Place followed by an ace serve from Katherine Kazemba (18-for-20 serving with 15 points and two aces) triggered the Quasars to a 5-0 advantage.

Bose and Kate Robinson (four kills) each contributed a pair of kills to keep the Rebels close, trailing 12-7 later in the match.

However, Post helped the Quasars break the game open with a kill and a seven-point service run, including five aces, to increase SSC's bulge to 20-7.

MCC's Maddie Robinson (eight service points, five set assists) later had two straight ace serves, but SSC had no problems closing out the 13-point victory.

MCC got the early lead in Game 3, as Bose scored twice on a kill and an ace serve to help give the Rebels a 6-2 edge.

SSC came back to tie it at 8-8 and again at 10-10. The Quasars then outscored the Rebels 10-1 over the next 11 points on their way to sealing the sweep.

Post served for two aces in that scoring burst for the Quasars, while Kazemba had an ace serve and a kill, and Place put down two kills.

"Our ball control was really sharp tonight," Haberman said. "We were able to put together some nice runs because we controlled the ball and put the pressure on the Rebels."

Chelsey Cranston had 12 set assists and seven digs for the Quasars, while Luanna Henkels had nine set assists and five digs.

Elissa Reinsma had nine digs for the Rebels, while Alyssa Schmidt had four set assists.

SSC hosts Worthington in the regular-season finale Thursday. Both SSC and MCC begin Section 3A South tournament play next Friday in Luverne.