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Duchesses escape with win over upset-minded Fillies

Nearly corralled on road

MORRISON – After having the weekend off and hitting the road Monday, Dixon had to overcome a slow start and plenty of fight from Morrison to gain a 25-23, 25-19 non-conference win.

“I told the girls this could be a trap game,” Dixon coach Bunyan Cocar said. “We had to bring our own energy. We didn’t talk well, didn’t play defense, and didn’t cover. But I thought we played smarter toward the end. We didn’t have our big swings, but we had some nice roll shots.”

Morrison (0-13) took advantage of the Duchesses’ sluggishness, as Jade Stock served three straight aces to put the Fillies up 6-3 early on. Dixon (5-5) then went on a 9-3 run, capped by an aces from Brenna Melvin and Kayla Callison and a kill by Juliana Rotella.

The Duchesses clung to a slim lead as the first set wore on despite strong play at the net from Kaylee Shetler. The senior’s block forced a Dixon hitting error later in the set, tying the score at 19-all.

“She has really come alive as far as her blocking is concerned,” Morrison coach Julia Deter said of Shetler. “This is her sport, so she’s put all of her time and effort into this. It’s starting to pay off for her.”

Madison Hilla’s kill gave the Fillies a brief 20-19 lead, but Dixon battled back to score three straight points. The set was tied at 22 and 23 before a Morrison hitting error and a kill by Rotella ended it.

Rotella served up two aces in the first three points of the second set. The senior did a little bit of everything for Dixon, finishing with six kills, five digs and three aces.

“I just know what I’m expected of,” Rotella said. “I’ve played volleyball for a long time, so I know how to get in the groove everywhere on the court.”

Emily Szabo smashed a kill to tie it at 9, but Melvin followed teammate Taylor Spellman’s kill with three consecutive aces. An ace by Rotella gave the Duchesses an 18-12 cushion, and she picked up a kill off a well-placed dig on the next point.

Melvin slammed a kill to make it 23-16 Dixon, but a pair of mistakes opened the door for a possible comeback by Morrison.

However, a service error and hitting error by the Fillies quickly closed the match.

Emma Carlson registered 12 assists, seven digs and an ace for the Duchesses. All four of Tiana Tichler’s kills came in the second set, and she also had two blocks and two digs. Callison recorded five digs and an ace for Dixon.

Shetler dominated when she was rotated to the front row, finishing with nine kills, nine blocks, three digs and an assist for Morrison. Szabo, who primarily plays the front row for her No Limits club team in Sterling, was balanced with six digs, four kills, an ace and an assist. 

“With club, I didn’t really play back row,” Szabo said. “When it comes to school, I know I have to play back there and step it up in the back.”

Stock stuffed the stat sheet with four aces, three digs, two assists and a kill, while Kate Vos tallied three assists and two digs for the Fillies. Destiny Jackson and Grace Steines combined for five assists, three kills, three digs and a block.

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