The Juniata Valley volleyball team won “ugly” Monday night at St. Joseph’s Academy, winning 3-0.
Tuesday, playing host to Bellwood, the Hornets were much better, but didn’t get the same result. The Blue Devils came back after losing the first set to with 3-1. Set scores were 23-25, 25-21, 25-16 and 25-20.
Bellwood improved to 12-2 for the season, while the Hornets slipped to 5-8.
“We played must better team volleyball tonight,” said Valley coach Mary Reed. “I would have liked to win, but we played a solid match. Hopefully, that will give us something to build on as we come to the end of the regular season.”
After falling behind 2-0 in the opening set, the Hornets chipped away and pulled away to a 12-7 lead.
Bellwood nibbled away at that lead and eventually took a 16-15 lead on a service ace by Chloe Brown.
Valley got the ball right back on a block by Skye Robinson before three service points by Emma Zinobile. A couple errors by the Devils allowed the Hornets to reach set point at 24-19, but a kill by Addy Turek put the Devils on the line. A kill by Brown and two by Lilly Hardman closed the gap to 24-23, but a service error gave the set to the Hornets.
The second set started in a similar fashion and the Hornets built a 13-8 lead on a service ace by Addy Beatty.
Again, Bellwood nibbled away at the Valley lead and moved in front on a hitting error by the Hornets.
That came in the middle of a six-point service run by Jessie Corrado that ended with Bellwood up 23-20. The second set ended on a Valley service error.
Juniata Valley jumped out to a 4-0 led in the third set, but Bellwood responded quickly. A seven-point service run by Brown gave the Devils a 15-8 lead. Corrado ran off three points and Lexi Lovrich added three more to put Bellwood up 23-13. They finished the set thanks to a Hornet hitting error.
Valley took a 7-5 lead on an ace by Kaitlyn Franks, but Bellwood got a couple short service runs to open up a 14-9 advantage. An Avery Taylor kill closed the gap to 15-13, but the Hornets couldn’t put together any runs. They trailed 24-20 when the match came to an end of a service error.
Zinobile led the Hornets with 12 kills, while Taylor finished with 11 kills, five blocks and five service points. Robinson led with seven blocks. Beatty finished with seven points and 19 digs, while Makenna Hartman contributed seven points.
The Hornets will be on the road at Mount Union Thursday.