High school volleyball: Avon beats Amherst in battle of ranked teams

James Brady
The Chronicle–Telegram

AMHERST – Avon and Amherst gave everything you would expect from two state-ranked teams as the 11th-ranked Eagles pulled out a 26-24, 16-25, 29-27, 25-23 win over the 17th-ranked Comets to remain perfect at 10-0 overall and 8-0 in the Southwestern Conference.

“Amherst played great, we had a hard time stopping both of their big hitters (Nia Hall and Laken Voss) and they picked up on our tendencies,” Avon coach Julie Bendzuck said of the Comets with 21 and 16 kills respectively. “I think our experience in situations like this gave us a little bit of an edge.

“I’m very happy that we are on the winning side of things, we definitely have things we need to improve on, that was a good match.”

Each team had the edge it needed in each of the sets won, with the Eagles watching a 18-16 lead turn into a 22-18 deficit in the first set with Hall serving for the Comets, as Delaney Kitchen picked up a pair of big kills to go with a Hall ace.

As quickly as Amherst (9-2, 7-1) flipped the score, Avon did the same, closing out the set with an 8-2 run as the Comets helped with three errors. Emma Farney had an ace, Emily Gardner and Jamie Villwock each had kills along with a pair from freshman Grace Busold (11 kills) for the 26-24 win.

The Comets wasted little time setting the tone in the second rolling to a 7-2 lead as Voss knocked down three of her 21 kills, and Hall had a huge block-kill for the lead that never went lower than four to knot the match at one set each.

The third set saw Avon’s sophomore Avery Abfall punish the Comets with 11 of her 24 kills on the night as Avon put itself in position to win, going up 23-18. But the Comets weren’t quite ready to let the set get away from them.

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