By Andy Krutsinger, Golden Triangle News Service
MT. PLEASANT ? The Washington volleyball season came to an end on Wednesday night with a first round regional loss to Mt. Pleasant.
The Demons fell in three sets, dropping games 25-20, 25-9 and 25-19.
Mt. Pleasant jumped out to a 7-3 lead early on thanks in part to three early kills from outside hitter Kalynn Batey. Washington was able to battle back to tie the game at 7-7. Both Isabel Bailey and Morgan Brinning had two kills in the first seven Demon points.
Bailey and Brinning continued to fire in spikes and Washingotn was able to open up a three-point lead on two different occasions. The latest of which made the game 19-16 in favor of Washington.
The game was tied 20-20 late in the game after an Ashlee Menke kill, and Anni Liechty stepped up to serve for the Panthers. She caught fire in a big way, scoring the final five points of the set including four aces. The last of her aces finished the game off at 25-20 and put Mt. Pleasant in a 1-0 lead.
It was all Mt. Pleasant in the second set. The Panthers jumped out to an early 13-6 lead and never looked back. Dani Broeker served nine points in a row to stretch the lead to 22-6 before the Demons could rebound, and the Panthers eventually won 25-9.
The Panthers started the third set off 3-0 but Washington came storming back with four-straight points, taking a 4-3 lead on a kill by Brinning. Mt. Pleasant scored the next six, however, and opened up a 9-4 lead.
Addison Six got it going for Washington midway through the set, talling a block and two kills before the Demons got to double-digits. Mt. Pleasant still held steady lead, however.
The Panthers flirted with a double-digit lead when a Stacey Apadaca block and a Liechty kill stretched it to 22-13. Washington scored four in a row, including two more kills from Brinning to cut the lead to 22-18.
Maggie Cristoforo made it 24-18 Mt. Pleasant with a kill two points later. Six gave the Demons one last kill but Liechty answered with one of her own and the Panthers took the third set 25-19.
Demon head coach Lexa Mahr said it was tough to battle back from the first set but praised her team?s defense for defending against a good outside tack from Mt. Pleasant.
?Our defense played very well last night (but) we were lacking offense,? Mahr said. ?Mt. Pleadant came out and did exactly what we planned. We knew they would primarily run their offense through outside hitters, and I thought the girls did a great job of shutting them down at certain points.?
Washington ended the season 5-24. The Demons picked wins over Columbus and Keokuk this season and had three wins in their final tournament on Oct. 7. Mt. Pleasant will play at Cedar Rapids Xavier on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m.