The girls volleyball team took down previously unbeaten Taft in a five-game thriller on Wednesday, October 10, for the Pelicans' fifth straight win and their third straight win on the road.
The Pelicans came out strong in the first set against a Taft squad that hadn't dropped a single set all season and battled with the Rhinos for every point. The back-and-forth battle brought the score to 19-18 in favor of the Pelicans before junior Kenedi Clinton went on a five-point service run that enabled the Pelicans to win the first set.
A spirited Taft crowd emerged in the second set, and Loomis struggled with its ball control, committing an uncharacteristic seven service errors. Still, the Pelicans fought hard before dropping the set 25-27.
Loomis regrouped in the third set and took a 9-2 lead. Taft battled back with a nine-point run of its own to take the lead. A big Pelican block at the net swung the momentum back in Loomis' favor, and the Pelicans won the set 25-20.
In the fourth set, Taft played some of its best volleyball, but junior libero Sadie Olcott kept the score close with her strong serving efforts for the Pelicans. Despite Olcott's work at the line, the Rhinos finished off the fourth set 25-23, forcing a fifth and final set.
Taft jumped out to an early 7-2 lead in the final set, but a couple of big Loomis kills from senior Maya Guyton narrowed the lead as the teams traded sides. Taft used the break to reset and went ahead 10-6, but then the Pelicans found their groove and earned points from Guyton, senior Reilly Campbell, and junior Sky Hanley to narrow the Rhinos' lead. With the score at 10-12, Clinton recorded three kills and a block behind Hanley's four-point service run, and Loomis took the deciding set 15-12.
The exciting match lasted two-and-a-half hours.
Loomis hosts its next three games in Olcott Gymnasium, the first against Hotchkiss on Saturday, October 13, at 6:30 p.m.
Loomis player highlights:
Kozik - 21/22 serving, 3 aces, 2 blocks and a season high 44 assists
Olcott - 26/28 serving, 3 aces, 39 digs
Clinton - 2 aces, 11 kills, 3 blocks and 18 digs
Jones - 8 kills, 18 digs
Guyton - 12/13 serving, season high 19 kills hitting .395, 4 blocks
Campbell - 3 kills, 6 blocks
Hanley - 4 kills, 17 digs