Lummi tops Grace spikers in three sets

Grace Academy hitter Katie Mittelstaedt goes for a kill against Lummi.   - Danielle Szulczewski
Grace Academy hitter Katie Mittelstaedt goes for a kill against Lummi.
— image credit: Danielle Szulczewski

MARYSVILLE — The Grace Academy volleyball team's woes continued against Lummi, who defeated the Eagles in three sets.

Grace fell 15-25, 18-25, 19-25 in the Oct. 22 meeting.

The Eagles often seemed competitive in the early going of each game only to watch Lummi pull away in the end to 25 points. Grace did enjoy the return of junior hitter Katie Mittlestaedt, who was back after a week's absence due to sickness, according to her coach. Though she was still under the weather, the co-captain had a couple of kills late in game one that helped the girls gear up for a tough game two battle.

The teams traded leads five times with multiple players scoring points for the Eagles. Though the girls came back to tie the game at 3-3, it was Mittlestaedt's serving ace that gave Grace its first lead of game two, going up 5-4. Jasleen Kaler had bumps to keep volleys alive in the early going and Grace was down by five points when setter Lauren Krumm scored back-to-back points for the Eagles with a kill followed by a service ace.

Kaitlyn Schuler had an ace for the Eagles as well, earning their 15th point of the game, but Lummi scored seven of the last 10 points to win game two.

In game three, Grace showed real potential to rally. Despite trailing by four to six points for most of the game, the Eagles put together their own scoring streaks. The most notable one came as the girls tried to keep the game in play. Though they trailed 21-14, they outscored Lummi for the next eight points. The ninth went Lummi's way and completed the sweep of Grace.

Eagles coach Rachel Israel praised the girls for their ability in their second season under her tutelage.

"They have a lot of talent," she said. "They just need a little more fight."

While the girls have struggled to win games this season, Israel said most of her key players are juniors and she's optimistic about their future.

She added, "They're a really great group of girls to work with."

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