Lions work past Titans

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The Lady Titans fell 3-1 to Lincoln at home on Thursday night during a girls Division II volleyball matchup.

The Lions were led by Nevaeh Chito, a senior, who had 17 digs, junior Hailey Gagnon, who tallied 14 assists, seven digs, and eight aces, and Hannah Schermerhorn, a senior, who recorded five kills, five blocks and 13 digs.

Toll Gate triumphed in the opening set before dropping three straight games.

Berit Olsson, a senior, scored Toll Gate’s first point and pulled the Lady Titans within 3-1 during set one.

Next, Lincoln was whistled for a foul, which inched Toll Gate within one at 3-2.

Then, Toll Gate’s Cailin Tainsh, a sophomore, earned a kill and knotted the game at 3.

Later in the set, Tainsh used a kill to even the game at 8, and then Tainsh gave the Lady Titans a 9-8 advantage when she served an ace.

Moments later, Toll Gate junior Jillian Walsh scored with a return, and then Shayla Almanzar, a senior, scored four straight points on serve and extended the Lady Titans margin to 13-9.

“When we serve, we’re strong,” Toll Gate head coach Ryan Garno said. “But we’ve got to make some winning plays at the end. And that’s my job. I’ve got to teach them that.”

Lincoln deadlocked the game at 15 before Toll Gate exploded for a 10-0 spurt and cruised to a 25-15 win of the opening set.

That final run was jumpstarted by Walsh, who scored four of the points while on serve, plus Tainsh and Bertrand, who registered three returns each.

Nonetheless, in the second set, Toll Gate fell flat and was downed 25-9 by Lincoln, which evened the match at 1.

In that second set, the Lions built a 13-4 lead on returns from sophomore Alexia Noel and senior Anna Vygoder and cruised from there.

“It’s the middle of the sets that are kind of getting us,” Garno said. “I think we lose a little bit of focus. It happens. I’ve got some players that are experienced, but some are starting for the first time up in varsity. So, those things will come as we go through. We have to play more of the mini games, the game within the game.”

In the third set, Toll Gate put up a much better fight before falling 25-19, which put them into a 2-1 hole.

The Lady Titans battled Lincoln to a 22-22 tie in the fourth set, but then Lincoln rattled off three straight points, with one coming from Olivia Wodogaza, and the other two from Schermerhorn, and closed the deal at 25-22.

With the defeat, Toll Gate falls to 1-3 on the season. The Lady Titans play their next match on Tuesday at home at 6:30 p.m. against Mt. Hope (2-3).

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