By Micah McVicker Flyer correspondent
---- — INDIANAPOLIS — Covenant Christian defensive specialist Morgan Pierce clapped her hands emphatically one time in frustration as the freshman could not make quality contact with the ball. Instead, it caromed off her chest and bounced in front of her to end the game, 25-20, and the match.
Park Tudor’s volleyball team won in four games (3-1) Thursday night at Covenant Christian High School.
Park Tudor started quickly, seizing a 7-0 lead to begin the first game, prompting Covenant coach Rob Zajdel to call for time. The Panthers scored the next two points, and Covenant got no closer than six points the rest of the game.
Covenant rebounded in the second set to tie the match 1-1 and negated any momentum Park Tudor had built. But it wasn’t without a bit of controversy and the official had to reverse his decision on a point that ended the set in Covenant’s favor and said the return was deflected by Park Tudor and went out of bounds.
“That was the right call,” Zajdel said. “I think he made a mistake when he first saw it. … I was jumping up and down to make that reversal happen. That’s what I gotta do as a coach. It was the right call. It was one of many calls that weren’t called very well, both directions.”
Park Tudor scored seven of the first eight points to begin the third game and built a sizable lead. Covenant rallied to take the lead twice, and tied the game at 20, but four consecutive errors gave Park Tudor a 24-21 lead. After Covenant took a timeout, Park Tudor’s Sammy Reese delivered the ace to end the set.
In the fourth set, Zajdel said his team did not adjust to Park Tudor’s tactical change.
“They started tipping to the corners, and we just weren’t reacting to that very well,” he said. “They got us on some easy points there. We tried to shift the defense to kinda get that controlled, but maybe a little too late making that adjustment. We gotta make sure we’re on our toes a little bit more on defense to not allow that to happen.”
Zajdel added that his wing defenders were not moving, staying in base and not moving up on the tip.
With the loss, Covenant fell to 8-5 on the season.
Covenant senior middle hitter Lauren Winely said the Warriors struggled with their service, especially in a game she considered a rivalry. Covenant committed 12 service errors, its second-highest total of the season.
“For us, communication is sometimes lacking a little bit,” she said. “For the most part, we’re pretty encouraging to each other, so we’re excited to see where we can go from here.”