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Rockets ground Eagles

RAPID RIVER — There’s nothing like a lengthy service run to boost a volleyball team.

Senior Cici Pilon provided that for the Rapid River Rockets here Monday night in a 3-1 (25-18, 25-17, 16-25, 25-11) triumph over the Stephenson Eagles.

The Rockets were trailing 10-8 in the fourth set when Pilon began a 15-point run, helping them gain an insurmountable 24-10 advantage in this Skyline Central Conference match.

“The girls got pretty excited when Cici when on that run,” said Rockets’ coach Kristy Kerstner. “Our serving was much better than it was in the last two matches. Stephenson started coming to life in the third set, and we couldn’t pass the ball. They just came out with more fire than we did in the third.”

Rapid River (2-1 overall and league) trailed 9-7 after three straight hitting errors in the fourth, then got a sideout on a kill by junior Addie Christoff.

The Rockets then committed an additional hitting error to make it 10-8 prior to Pilon’s service run.

“Our girls were determined to win the third set, then offensive mistakes hurt us in the fourth,” said first-year Eagles’ coach Kristi Miller. “The girls played with a lot of heart. They (Rockets) served well. We got the hits. Unfortunately, they didn’t drop. We’re doing a lot of learning right now, but we’ll get there.”

A six-point run by Toree Kuntze to start the third set got the Eagles going.

The Rockets then trimmed their deficit to 6-4 on an Eagles’ passing error.

Rapid River was still within 12-10 following Christoff’s tip for a kill.

After a sideout, Kuntze hit five straight points, including a pair of aces, to help Stephenson gain an insurmountable 18-10 advantage.

In the second set, the Rockets were up 13-9 before getting a sideout and a seven-point run by senior Gabby Moss.

The Rockets took advantage of service and hitting miscues and Christoff’s kill for a 16-9 cushion.

A four-hit violation by the Eagles made it 17-9 and Moss hit a pair of aces as the Rockets gained an insurmountable 21-9 advantage.

The Eagles trimmed their deficit to 24-17 on a Rockets’ hitting miscue, then were foiled by a service error.

Moss led the Rockets at the net with 14 kills and a block. Senior Kathleen Hickman added 10 kills and Christoff tallied seven and junior Madi LaChance recorded her first varsity kill.

Defensively, Moss led with 18 digs. Pilon and senior Myah Pearson had 15 apiece and Christoff finished with 13.

Anders recorded 11 kills and Justine Havelka had 11 digs for the Eagles (1-2 overall).

Stephenson, which won the jayvee match (25-14, 25-20), hosts Norway Thursday. Rapid River hosts Norway tonight at 6.

Rapid River — Moss (14 kills, one block, 18 digs); Hickman (10 kills); Chrisoff (seven kills, 13 digs); Pilon (four kills, 15 digs); LaChance (one kill); Pearson (15 digs).

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