Oswego East falls short to Metea ValleyMetea Valley's Jessica Boddy goes for a spike against Oswego East in Oswego on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011.
Updated: September 14, 2011 9:38PM
Coming up short in close calls is getting to be old hat for the Oswego East volleyball team. The Wolves need to find a new lid.
Metea Valley squeaked out a 26-24, 28-26 nonconference decision Wednesday, one day after the hosts dropped a 25-21, 31-29 tilt with Southwest Prairie Conference power Minooka. Those losses drop Oswego East to 3-7 overall. while the Mustangs climb to 14-3.
“We don’t like to play to 25 anymore,” said Oswego East coach Adam Thurlwell. “That seems to be our favorite thing to do, prove that we can go to 28 or 30.”
He’s not disappointed with the effort, as his team rallied from early deficits in both games to knot the score. They got to 18-all and 21-all in the opener.
“It’s like I told the girls, they’ve got to figure out how to go from good to great,” said Thurlwell. “They’re playing well, it’s just the extra effort. You can’t afford to go into the net, can’t miss serves. We’re right there. It’s little stuff and at the varsity level, you can’t get away with that.”
In the second game, his team trailed 16-13 only to rally behind the serving of senior libero Jordan Reifsteck to knot it at 18-all thanks to her four-point run. The teams then battled back and forth and were tied at 21, 24, 25 and 26 before an Oswego East hitting error followed by a decisive kill from 6-foot-3 Jessica Boddy off the set of sophomore Ellie Petersen wrapped it up for the Mustangs.
“We had a chance at 24-23 and had a bad serve,” said Thurlwell.
The post-match assessment of Metea Valley coach James Milkert was eerily similar.
“I know and I trust, in the back of my head, where we can get,” he said. “I want us to be there now. We just need to make positive steps. We miss too many serves, make too many silly hitting errors. We give away too many free points.”
But with his team climbing to 14-3, obviously there’s a lot to be positive about.
“I’m very pleased with the outcome,” said Milkert. “I’m not thrilled by our process of getting to those outcomes.
“I’m struggling to put my finger on (the problem), to be honest. We have a great mix of veteran and young players, and a young setter, and we’re learning with every game. I’m trying terribly hard to be patient. … We just gotta get over that hump.”
Boddy led Metea with seven kills and Petersen had 15 assists. Aliyah Everson had five kills and Layne Hillesland four for the Wolves, who got 20 digs from Reifsteck and 17 assists from Natalia Mendieta.