WATERLOO — Anyone who thought DeKalb would cruise after taking the first game of Wednesday’s county volleyball clash with Eastside was sorely mistaken.
The Blazers rallied to gain control and win the second game, and the two teams engaged in a long third game before the Barons finally prevailed. DeKalb then pulled away late in the fourth game and completed the victory, with scores of 25-14, 16-25, 25-22, 25-18.
DeKalb (4-8) pulled away from a 14-11 lead in the fourth game, with a kill by Addison Freed extending the margin to 17-11. Eastside (3-9) rallied within 22-18 on an ace by Skye Kessler, but the Barons notched the last three points and completed the win on a tip from Christina Yarian.
Paige Pettis topped DeKalb with 15 kills, and Yarian and Olivia Fetter had seven each. Much of that was made possible by Hope Moring’s 33 assists.
Natalie Hughes had 28 digs, while Kaila Barkhaus had 16 and Pettis had 12.
Mataya Bireley and Eleanor Neumann had five kills each for Eastside. Jessi Gerke had 13 assists.
Bireley and Kessler had three aces each. Paige Franz had 28 digs and Bireley had 16.
DeKalb scored the first point of the night and took the lead for good in the first game. The Barons never had much breathing room, however, leading by 3-5 points much of the way.
The Blazers got within one twice, the last time at 13-12 on two points served by Bireley. Yarian knocked down an errant Eastside pass, however, and Barkhaus and Hughes delivered aces as the margin widened.
Hughes served the last five points, which included a kill from Fetter and a tip by Moring.
The Barons looked to ready to dish out more of the same when they bolted to a 9-4 lead in the second game. Kessler served the Blazers back within 9-8, however, and consecutive kills by Bireley had the guests up 12-10.
DeKalb tied it 12-12 on a tip by Freed and a kill by Pettis, but Eastside quickly regained the lead and began to pull away. A kill by Neumann made it 18-15, and Franz then served five straight points as the Blazers stretched the lead to 23-15. A kill by Erika Brock finished it off.