ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – For a second time in as many nights, the Pirates dropped a back-and-forth, five-set Great Lakes Conference match. On Tuesday, it was the rival Bay Rockets getting the best of the Pirates – Bay defeated River, 3-2 (25-18, 21-25, 23-25, 25-23, 9-15).
Both GLC foes battled hard throughout. The match was full of long volleys, especially over games three, four, and five, when pressure from the Rocket frontcourt sent Pirate defenders scrambling, limiting Rocky River’s set plays. The Pirates (12-7, 9-4 GLC) logged 121 digs in the match, their most since defeating Bay, 3-2, on Sept. 3.
The loss marked River’s fourth in GLC play, the program’s most since 2015. For the Rockets, Tuesday’s victory snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Pirates. Prior to Tuesday, Bay hadn’t defeated the Maroon & White since Sept. 6, 2016.
In Tuesday’s match at the Corner of Wagar & Detroit, Rocky River took the opening game, 25-18. Bay countered with a win in game two and then came away with a crucial two-point victory (25-23) in game three. Set four found the Pirates trailing, 13-9, midway through, but River prevailed, 25-23, after a late-game see-saw exchange of leads and momentum swings. In the deciding set, the Rockets (13-6, 10-4) bolted to an 8-2 lead and never looked back.
For the match, Rocky River hit .151. Paige Waite continued her stretch of fine play with 19 kills against just three hitting errors. Waite swatted her way to a .333 mark and collected four blocks. The sophomore hitter’s 19 kills mark a season high, topping the 17 she had in a 3-2
loss to Normandy on Monday.
The back line got big performances by Amanda Franz (40
digs), Austoria Miller (22 digs against just four errors) and Emily Stanciu (26
digs). Many of their defensive efforts were of the desperation-save variety.
Miller also had 12 kills on the night. Stanciu added 10 kills and three aces. Setter
Taylor Spies registered 37 assists and 18 digs.
The Pirates are now 3-3 over six five-set matches this
season. Overall, Rocky River has won 40 sets this season while losing 29.