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Union Survives Roller Coaster Ride in Five-Set Thriller Over Moniteau

CHERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Kennedy Vogle gathered her team in the middle of the court and delivered a pep talk.

The Union volleyball team needed it.

Things looked pretty bleak for the Damsels in the first set. They trailed Moniteau on the road, 23-13, and were reeling.

But Vogle had a clear message.

“Guys, we got this,” Vogle said. “It’s no big deal. We’ve come back from worse.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

Vogle’s teammates heeded the junior libero’s words and scored 13 of the next 14 points for an improbable comeback that started a roller coaster of a night for both teams with Union eventually surviving the five-set marathon Monday night, 26-24, 25-27, 25-12, 24-26, 15-6.

“We just regrouped and we decided to hustle our butts off and get back in it,” Vogle said.

Union coach Corri Shumaker had been imploring her team to come together in the middle of the court and pick themselves up when things weren’t going their way. The Damsels did that well against Moniteau — to the coach’s delight.

“I constantly preach that,” Shumaker said. “They always seem to get down on themselves. I thought even when they were down tonight, they were still talking and staying excited, keeping each other from not getting down on themselves.”

It would have been easy to be down in the dumps at times — for both teams.

After Union’s epic rally to win the first set, Moniteau made its own comeback to win the second set. The Warriors, who were only playing their second match this season because of a COVID-19 shutdown for nearly two weeks at the school, trailed 22-17 and were staring at game-point at 24-22 before rallying for the 27-25 victory.

(Kennedy Vogle)

Union rolled in the third set and was up 17-11 and 23-21 in the fourth before the Warriors came back again to win and force a fifth and decisive game.

Rumbaugh was impressed with the fortitude of her young team. Moniteau uses a slew of players and most of them are sophomores.

“It was a hafrd-fought five games,” said Moniteau coach Ashley Rumbaugh. “I’m glad they went five games, at least. At least they fought back.”

Because Moniteau uses so many players, individual statistics were spread out. Sophomore Davina Pry, though, stood out with nine kills for the Warriors.

The fifth set was close until Union rolled off nine of the final 10 points. Senior Dominika Logue had a big final game with three kills and a block. She finished the night with nine kills, four blocks and five aces.

Hailey Kriebel added nine kills and five aces and Keira Croyle 18 assists.

Vogle was also a big part of the victory for the Damsels.

Union (3-2) had struggled at times this season in the serve-receive game. Not against the Warriors. Vogle was nearly automatic and had a stellar night passing with 25 digs.

“I take a lot of pride in that,” Vogle said. “I mean, I do the best that I can and I work for the team to make us better.”

“Kennedy’s passing was phenomenal tonight.” Shumaker added. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better from her. I think the team just fed off of that.”

Grace Kindel was also a standout at the service line and as a setter.

Kindel had seven aces and 10 assists.

“She had a lot of aces tonight, which is always a great thing,” Shumaker said.

Even in the loss, Moniteau has a lot to feel good about.

The Warriors are 0-2, but both defeats have come in five-set matches.

“There’s a lot of potential here,” Rumbaugh said. “It’s just a matter of getting them all to play as one. They just haven’t played together a lot yet because of COVID. And now we’re not getting a lot of practice time with three, four matches a week (to make up games postponed by COVID).

“I know they feel like they were defeated,” Rumbaugh added, “but that was actually a pretty good game. They went five games and it was pretty close.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

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