The Santa Clarita Christian girls volleyball team jumped out to early leads against Albert Einstein Academy in the first two games Thursday night.
But after dropping the first game, a six-point swing in game two and their pinpoint service game shifted the momentum back to the Cardinals on their home court as they defeated the Rockets in four games, 23-25, 25-20, 25-12, 25-23.
“We missed a couple of our serves (in the first game),” said SCCS outside hitter Megan Dombrowski. “But we came back from it. The thing is, we start losing and that makes us stronger in everything that we do. Just coming back from that really excited all of us.”
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Einstein (2-1) won a back-and-forth game one, 25-23, with the help of kills from seniors Brianna Sanford and Helen Rodriguez.
The Cardinals missed their final serve of the first game to break a 23-all tie, and a hitting error gave the Rockets the early “W.”
But SCCS (1-0) recovered quickly, using six aces in game two, including one of Vanessa Cardenas’ five aces on the night to put the Cards up 4-0. Dombrowski notched one of her own to make the score 6-2.
The Rockets became a little flustered after getting called for four straight rotation errors, sandwiched between a hitting error and a net violation, giving SCCS a 15-6 lead in game two.
“That was the big turning point in the game with those points,” said Einstein coach Ken Erenberg. “Although, Darcy (Brown) always has a great team, and she’s a great coach, so we knew they were going to come right back at us and we just had to be ready for it.”
And the Rockets needed to be ready for the Cardinals’ service game.
There were floating serves and hard-hit ones that somehow found the back line to give the advantage back to the Cards.
SCCS’s Aaronya Crosswhite had a team-high eight aces, while Kenzie Kennedy painted in six aces. Jenny Curry’s five aces all came in the final game to help her squad to a 12-7 lead.
“Everyone has kind of their own style,” said SCCS coach Darcy Brown. “We really tried to step up on our serving game, realizing it’s a big offense. We want to be on the attack right from the start. I was really proud of them today because they really stepped up and did well.”
Einstein tried to recover in the fourth game after being down by as many as eight points.
Stanford was solid on the service line, and all over the court for the Rockets. The senior tallied three aces and six blocks, while captain Rodriguez had six blocks and nine kills.