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Fort Frye netters earn victory over Warren

Photo by Jordan Holland Fort Frye’s Khloee Ross (16) and Karlee Ross (32) go up to block a spike attempt by Warren’s Autumn Miller during a high school volleyball match Thursday in Vincent. Fort Frye won in three sets.

VINCENT — Fort Frye made a lineup change before Thursday’s volleyball match at Warren.

The Cadets moved middle hitter Karlee Ross to the outside, and the senior racked up 20 kills to lead her team to a 25-23, 25-16, 25-13 sweep of the Warriors.

“We’re still trying to figure out what lineup works best for us,” said Fort Frye head coach Emily Tracewell, whose team improved to 6-1. “We had one of our middle hitters (Julia Zalmanek) out with a sprained ankle. She just came back, so we’re trying to see what works best for our hitters and our passers.”

Zalmanek added nine kills for Fort Frye.

“This was definitely Julia’s best game coming back from the sprained ankle,” Tracewell said. “I would also say this was Karlee’s best game on the outside. That was our biggest switch. She’s usually a big middle hitter for us, but lately we’ve been pushing the ball to the outside more so we felt like having one of our better hitters on the outside would work well for us.”

Makenna Long contributed nine kills of her own while Khloee Ross chipped in eight and Jayden Wallace tallied four. Cara McIntosh finished with 18 assists and Lexie Huck had three aces.

“Our passing and working together with our defense in a good system helped us out a lot today,” Tracewell said. “We’ve been lacking that in the last few games.”

The first set was evenly matched until the Warriors (2-5) used a 9-0 run to take a 20-13 lead. Haylee Morgan’s kill and Gracee Goodwin’s block tied the set at 13-all. Lakyn Ellenwood assisted Kali Wells on a kill to help extend the lead, but the Cadets began to chip away. Khloee Ross’s kill of McIntosh’ assist cut it to 23-20 to prompt Warren head coach Dan Proctor to call timeout. Kills by Khloee Ross and Long knotted the score at 23-all, and two plays later Khloee Ross had another kill to give Fort a 1-0 lead in the match.

“Once we had a timeout, we just talked about being disciplined and giving 100% each time and working as a team instead of individuals, that usually gets us playing back into a rhythm,” Tracewell noted.

The second set got away quickly from the Warriors as Fort Frye carried momentum from the end of the first set.

The Cadets jumped out to a 14-2 lead and never looked back. Warren got within seven, 23-16, but a Zalmanek kill helped close out the second set.

“We hung with them (the first set),” Proctor said. “I don’t think we were ready for their offense. They ran a quick offense and hit quick and moved it around. We’ll have to adjust to that.”

It was Warren which started strong in the third set, claiming a 4-0 lead thanks in part to a kill by Wells and an ace by Morgan. Fort Frye cut it to 8-6 and then tied it at 8-all on kills by Karlee Ross and Long. Fort Frye briefly led 9-8, but Karlee Duffey’s kill tied it back up at 9-9. Fort Frye took over from there as the Cadets got back-to-back kills by Long and an ace by Huck to take a 12-9 advantage. Holding a 19-13 lead, Karlee Ross took over and registered a kill, a block and finally back-to-back kills to end the match.

“We’ve got to work more as a team and our defense has got to pick it up a little bit more,” Proctor said.

The Cadets’ only loss came to Shadyside. They’ve been victorious every other match, but Tracewell thinks their best volleyball is yet to come.

“They’re definitely playing good, but they’re not playing on their level yet,” Tracewell said. “I feel like they can get even better with each game that we play as long as we’re working together as team.

“We usually are on like a roller coaster, so our motto this year is to get off the roller coaster and just play on our level the whole time.”

Jordan Holland can be reached at jholland@mariettatimes.com.

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