DIXON – There was something kind of subtle and kind of sneaky about the way the Geneseo Maples Leafs wanted to attack the Dixon Duchesses on Thursday at Lancaster Gym.
While most teams prefer the pass-set-big hit for offense, the Maple Leafs spent much of Tuesday's match skipping the last part. Instead of setting for a hit, the Leafs would set for a point.
It worked some, disrupting the Duchesses' ebb and flow – especially in the second set – but Dixon took a more traditional route.
That worked better, as the Duchesses won 25-22, 19-25, 25-19 for their second NIB-12 West victory of the week .
"It's a matter of recognizing what the other team is trying to do," Dixon coach Bunyan Cocar said. "It was little disturbing we didn't adjust to it a little quicker. They were able to get a few points with that. It's about volleyball IQ. We've improved, and we can still get better."
Dixon knocked off Sterling in three sets at Musgrove Fieldhouse on Tuesday.
"It's been great this week," Dixon's Amy Rotella said. "We come to school and we have classmates and teachers congratulate us on playing well. It motivates us to keep on going."
Rotella pounded the final nail into the Leafs' coffin off an assist from Rachel Gascoigne.
"It came down to us communicating and doing the small things right," Gascoigne said. "We weren't doing that in the second set. Once we started doing that, everything started working. The back row was making good passes. The setters were setting, and the hitters were getting the kills. It was a complete team effort."
Dixon took the first set after falling behind 3-1. The score remained close the entire set, with the teams trading points all the way to a tie score at 22.
The Duchesses (7-8, 3-1 NIB-12 West) finished off the set with a kill by Lexy Duncan sandwiched between two kills by Rotella. Gascoigne had assists on two of the three points.
The second set didn't start well for Dixon. A series of hitting errors gave Geneseo a 9-1 lead. Dixon then played well in spurts, but could not put together enough points to close the gap entirely.
"We did more to beat ourselves in that second set than Geneseo did to beat us," Cocar said. "We still have times where we get down, and then get too tense. That's something every team has to learn to handle. When we play loose, we are at our best."
Rotella led the Duchesses with 12 kills. Duncan had four kills and a block, and Caitlin Rozek had five kills and six service points. Gascoigne had 15 assists.
Freshman libero Jessa Long continued her strong play in the back row with 19 digs. Rotella added nine digs.
Kylie Kelsall and Jamie DeFauw both had four kills for Geneseo. Kylie Gerhardt had 13 service points.