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Improving Indians topple feisty Hubbard

GIRARD — The Hubbard Eagles and the Girard Indians tangled in a Northeast-8 Conference battle on Tuesday. The hometown Indians prevailed in three straight sets, but the Eagles were no pushovers.

“Our girls played well tonight,” Girard coach Phil Walters said. “Hubbard is a great team, but they struggled a little bit at times. They had some unforced errors. They’re always a formidable opponent. We’re coming into our own. We’re starting to play a little cleaner. I love playing Hubbard. I love the intensity.”

Lauren Pallone (20 kills) got the intensity started with a big spike for Girard (13-3, 7-2). Senior Jocelin Teter got up and made a block for the Indians, but a nice kill by Haley Croyle gave Hubbard a 6-4 lead. The Indians went back on top, 12-9, but Sydney Bowser (6 service points) and Emily Filicky (9 kills) helped give the advantage back to the Eagles.

Filicky put great touch on the ball to put Hubbard (4-8, 4-5) up 13-12. The first set continued to go back and forth with Kellsie Leshnack and Gillian Ryser getting in on the action for Hubbard. Leshnack pounded the ball with the palm of her hand. However, the hustle and effort of Bree Latell and Kennedy Siebert (2 blocks) helped give the Indians a 25-21, first-set victory.

The second set almost got off to a rocky start for the Indians, when seniors Karissa Kadel and Sophie Griffith nearly collided. Luckily, the pair were able to avoid the collision and Girard went on top 10-6. Later, Griffith went full extension to dig it out before the ball hit the floor. Girard built a 21-11 lead before the Eagles had to deal with a ball that ended up high in the rafters. The Indians closed out the second set by a score of 25-16.

Teter looked like she put the Indians up to begin the third set, but the Eagles snuck in a block. She redeemed herself on the next point by finishing the job with a kill and tying the score.

“Hubbard is one of our biggest rivals that we play in all of our sports,” Teter said. ” It was really important for us to come out and play as strong as we could. We did that. We stuck to our game and we came out with a win.”

There were no assurances that the Indians would walk away with a 3-0 victory. Karissa Fanderich (14 assists) and Sophie Murphy made sure of that for Hubbard. A little tap over the net by Murphy, and Fanderich diving to the floor, tied the set 12-12. The serving of Delaney Panigall and a kill by Gracie Bencetic put the Eagles ahead 17-14.

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