Lady Pirates Win Big Over Ottawa Braves
September 10, 2018
OTTAWA, Kan. - As part of a three-game road trip, the Independence Lady Pirates faced off with their third NAIA opponent of the season the Ottawa Braves. The Lady Pirates began slow, but it all came together in the end for a 3-1 victory. The Lady Pirates were led offensively by Destiny Thomas with 18 kills and defensively by Alessia Laghi with 17 digs.
"It was a true relief after a tough weekend," coach Daniela Pena said. "It gave us a chance to settle down and know what our lineup will be for the rest of the season."
In the first set, the Lady Pirates started strong with kills by Natasha Colon and Destiny Thomas to take a 2-0 lead. Ottawa made a 2-1 run and a ball hit to far tied the set at 3-3 before Thomas put Independence back on top with a dynamic kill.
"This feels great to win tonight in the way that we did," Thomas said. "I feel we get better and better every day, putting in all the work in practice and we showed tonight that we deserve to win."
"Wednesday, I expect us to play our game and do what we have to do to win. It's taken a while for everyone to adjust but I feel like we finally found that sync to help us succeed going forward."
A 3-0 run for the Braves gave Ottawa the lead at 6-4, but a kill by Briana Prescott, block by Patricia Seller and another kill by Thomas put Independence back up 7-6. Thomas broke up a 2-0 run to tie it at 8-8 but a miscommunication for the Lady Pirates put the Braves ahead again 9-8. Kiersten Vincent, Anachariz Cruz and Alessia Laghi worked together to get the ball over the net before Seller came up with another big block to give Independence a 10-9 lead.
An Ottawa run of 9-4 had the Braves leading 18-14, but a hit too far and another Thomas kill cut the lead down to two. Ottawa scored three straight extending their lead to five, but a monster kill from Thomas would bring Independence back within four trailing 21-17.
Thomas went back on the attack cutting the lead down to three, but a 2-0 run made it 23-18 Braves before yet another kill from Thomas. The Lady Pirates battled back but dropped the first set 21-25.
The second set began with a 6-1 run by Independence capped by a kill from Thomas and errors from the Braves on three straight serves pushed the Lady Pirates' lead to 9-1. Ottawa went on a 3-0 run but a kill by Jessie Lewman got Independence back on track leading 10-4.
The Braves answered on a 3-1 run, but a double contact pushed the lead to 12-7 for the Lady Pirates before a 2-0 run cut the lead to 12-9. Vincent killed the ball with ease after a clutch dig from Laghi and a push too far extended the lead to 14-9, but a block out of bounds followed by a double contact on the other side made it 15-10 Independence.
Hannia Rios set up Thomas on the kill pushing the lead to 17-10, but a service error followed by a kill cut the lead back to five before a kill by Colon made it 18-12 with the Lady Pirates in the lead. A 3-1 run and another kill from Thomas followed by a service errorl pushed the lead to 23-13 and a 2-1 run ended by kills from Thomas and Vincent gave Independence the win 25-14 and tied the match at 1-1.
In the third set, Thomas was at it again with two kills to give Independence the lead on a 2-1 run. The Lady Pirates found a 3-0 run after an ace from Colon, but two consecutive errors cut the lead to 5-3 before a double touch pushed the lead back to three.
Independence answered back on a 2-1 run after an enormous kill by Prescott pushed the lead to 8-4. Prescott found more fire helping the Lady Pirates get to a 10-5 lead while big kills and errors from the Braves made the lead 15-7 after a 5-2 Independence run.
The two teams had a marathon of hits, in which Laghi recorded five digs going before a double contact pushed the lead out to 16-7, but a miscommunication cut it down to eight. A 4-2 run from Ottawa made the score 18-11 but Thomas was not to be denied killing it with tenacity and pushing the lead back to eight.
Miscues appeared again on a 3-0 run for the Braves but a kill from Prescott made it 20-14. Prescott and Vincent answered a kill from Ottawa with back to back kills pushing the lead to 22-15 and a 3-2 run gave the Lady Pirates the set 25-17 and the lead in the match 2-1.
The fourth set started off rocky but digs from Laghi aided the Independence offense on a 4-2 run. A 4-2 run from the Braves tied the set at 6-6. A kill from Thomas and three consecutive hits out of bounds put the Lady Pirates back up 10-6.
"This victory feels great and I'm so happy that I could help my team to victory tonight," Laghi said. "I think that everyone was in sync tonight and it all seemed to come together."
"The road ahead will not be an easy one, but as long as we continue to work hard and believe in each other it will be a great ride the rest of the year."
Independence picked up several points on a 4-1 run and extended their lead to 14-7, but back to back to back errors made it close again at 14-10. Ottawa picked up two more points with huge kills to put the score at 15-12 and three more errors tied the set at 15-15.
The teams exchanged blows tying it again but a Lewman kill and block from Thomas put the Lady Pirates back up 18-16. A 4-2 run by the Braves tied the set at 20-20, but once again it wasn't for long as Thomas delivered a thunderous blow to put Independence back in the lead.
Laghi and Cruz continued to set the Lady Pirates up for big breaks and after a run of 4-3 Independence took the set 25-23 and the match 3-1 moving to 3-0 on the season against NAIA opponents.
The Lady Pirates are now 4-6 and continue their road trip as they return to conference play with a record of 1-2 traveling to El Dorado facing the Butler Grizzlies Wednesday September 12th with first serve at 6:30 pm.