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Perry volleyball's first win out of reach on Senior Night

Sean Cordy - Correspondent
Jenisis Cerna with pass during Senior Night on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Senior Night hoped to provide a boost Tuesday for Perry (0-9) against Carlisle (3-4). That wasn't in the cards for the Jayettes as the rival Wildcats walked out with a 3-0, overcoming close calls along the way posed by Perry's seniors.

Living on the edge

In each of the three sets, Perry came within at least five points after crossing the 10-point marker. The first set was knotted at 14-14 only for Carlisle to turn in a 25-17 scorecard. Perry followed up by hanging in down 16-12, followed by a nine-point run from the Wildcats with Perry missing a number of blocks and returns. 

The closest call came in the third set, Perry's first round that went into extra points (the first time of the season.) After facing a deficit through the bulk of the game, a well-placed kill from senior Jasmine Shriver put the Jayettes up 24-23. Four plays later, she made a diving play out of bounds to keep the game alive 27-27.

Jasmine Shriver reacts after a Perry point against Carlisle on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Carlisle went on two score the next two points for a 29-27 win. 

"I think the third set is where we started clicking a little bit offensively," Jayettes head coach John Fulton said. "We just could not get a serve-receive to our setter to get any sort of offense. But halfway through that third set, it started to click a little better. We need to get started faster than that."

Fixing blindspots

Just as Shriver put two pivotal balls out of Carlisle's reach to keep the third game the most competitive of the match, the Wildcats made those same plays throughout the night to turn some of Perry's strength against them.

Perry came into Tuesday with 4.2 blocks per set compared to the Wildcats' 0.6 per set. Carlisle allowed just two blocks all night (0.7 per set), keeping the Jayettes off-balanced throughout the match.

Seniors Jasmine Shriver and Jayna Kenney go up for a block against a Carlisle player on Sept. 8.

"We needed to penetrate over the block a little bit, so they blocked and it just fell right behind us," Fulton said. "That's something we'll work on and practice penetrating over the next week."

Some of those misses also came in the middle of the court as multiple Jayettes chased down returns, occasionally resulting in a dropped ball or a minor collision. Some of those plays turned into Perry points, most notably following a two-minute rally that kept the Jayettes within striking range at 16-12 in the second set.

"I'm not going to take the aggressiveness out," Fulton said. "I got a lot of girls that will fight for it."

The game also took unfortunate turns further down the court. While Jayna Kenney and Jenisis Cerna produced two aces apiece, Perry's serve efficiency beyond the pair of seniors was 71 percent.

Senior night

Kacy Nevitt gets ready to serve during Perry's home match-up with Carlisle on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Along with Kenney, Cerna and Shriver, seniors Lani Fish, Kacy Nevitt, Quinn Whiton and Bella Nath were honored at the start of the night.

Nevitt led the team with six kills and finished with 10 digs. Whiton held top marks with 16 digs and 13 assists. Shriver also walked away with 16 digs and was second on the team with three kills. Cerna had 15 digs and was perfect on serves while Kenney was good on all six serves.

Perry is in search of its first win of the season Thursday at the team's home invitational where Earlham (3-4), South Hamilton (5-13), Ogden (1-3), West Central Valley (0-7) and Nodaway Valley (8-3) all pay a visit. The Jayettes won four of five matches last season.