GYPSUM – The Abilene Cowgirl volleyball team finished 1-2 on the day Saturday at the Southeast of Saline volleyball quad in Gypsum.

Abilene defeated SES 25-16, 28-26. The Cowgirls then lost in three sets to Salina South 23-25, 25-16, 18-25 and dropped two sets against Hillsboro 17-25, 17-25.

In the Cowgirls match against Southeast of Saline, senior Autumn Fitzgerald led the team again with energy, intensity and with kills according to Cowgirl head coach Jade Koch. Fitzgerald hit .417% with 12 kills out of 24 attempts. Senior Brynna Ade did a great job of serving with two aces and 100% accuracy according to the coach.

Early in the first set against Salina South, Fitzgerald came out due to a shoulder injury, the coach reported. She said that Emma Wildman stepped up her game and had some huge blocks and kills on the front row to keep Abilene in the match with South.

Freshman Claira Dannefer hit .471% with five kills out of eight attempts and coach Koch said Ashton Roth had 11 assists.

“Unfortunately, our defense struggled to adjust on the back row and our team hitting average was only .111,” Koch said.

In the loss to Hillsboro the Cowgirls struggled hitting the ball with 18 hitting errors that resulted in a negative hitting percentage.

“Against Hillsboro our serve receive passing was great,” Koch said. “Our team average was a 2.21 with three being perfect.”

Koch praised Joy Clemence’s passing game as nearing perfect with a 2.67 average and she had four digs. The coach also noted that Jenna Hayes was solid on the back row with a 2.04 passing average and five digs while Tessa bender had five big digs and passed with a 2.4 average.

“Unfortunately, our front row couldn’t match the back row’s success in this match,” she said. “Besides the 18 hitting errors we also missed on four serves at very crucial times. The match could have turned out completely different had we done a better job of keeping the ball in play.”

The Cowgirls travel to Rossville this weekend.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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