Volleyball: Skyline holds off Pioneer in spirited city-rivalry match


After winning the first two games without much of a challenge, the Skyline volleyball team settled in for the sweep over rival Pioneer on Thursday night. But the Pioneers had other plans – nothing comes easy in city-rivalry matchups and the Eagles were going to have to earn this one.

Pioneer jumped out to an early lead and held off a couple runs from the Eagles to take the third game 25-21.

But Skyline refocused and took its game to a whole different level and spiked the Pioneers 25-8 to win the match 3-1. The Eagles improved to 13-5 on the season.

WATCH VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MATCH: https://weloveannarbor.com/2018/09/21/video-action-from-thursdays-skyline-pioneer-volleyball-match/

A spike by Kendall Murray gave the Eagles a 6-3 lead in the opening game. An ace by Pioneer’s Lanie Chagnovich cut it to 10-7 but tips by Stacie Warener and Lauren Lee pushed Skyline’s lead to 12-8.

A pair of spikes by Sasha Akuezue and Murray gave the Eagles a 21-10 lead. A nice block by Pioneer’s Nikki Hughes cut the lead to 22-11 but Olivia Cristian delivered the game-winning point to finish off the opener 25-14.

The Eagles built an early lead behind the serving of Cristian. But a nice play at the net by Freya Benson and a tip from Hughes cut the lead to 5-3. A great diving play from Skyline’s McKenna Pfeffer lead to a point and an 11-5 lead.

With Rin Sato serving Skyline stretched the lead to 17-7. After a spike from Pioneer’s Jesi Izirein, a spike from Eve Palazzolo pushed Skyline’s lead to 19-9. A spike from Hughes – who had a monster game for the Pioneers – cut the deficit to 23-13. A block by Lee ended the second game at 25-15.

The Pioneers came out determined and focused in the third game, refusing to go down without a fight. By far the longest point of the night ended on a block by Pioneers Izirein to give the home team an early 3-2 lead.

The Eagles called time out after Pioneer took a 10-3 lead. Cristian made some big plays to help bring the visitors back, the last one on a tip to make it 10-7. But the Pioneers had answers and took a 16-10 lead on a spike by Izirein.

After a spike by Cristian, Pioneer took a 20-13 lead off an ace by Izirein. A great play by Maya Todd led to a point and a 22-16 lead for the hosts. Murray made some big hits for Skyline as the Eagles again tried to fight back but Pioneer held on for an impressive 25-21 win.

The Eagles dominated the fourth game from start to finish. Two spikes by Murray gave the visitors a 9-2 lead. Spikes by Akuezue and Cristian made it 17-5. Spikes by Murray pushed the advantage to 23-6. Skyline won the final game 25-8.

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