The third set Tuesday night was the turnaround moment for the Monroe Catholic High School volleyball team in its four-set victory over the visiting Eielson Ravens.
It also was an effective response to host Rams’ second-set loss to a scrappy Ravens squad in the Aurora Conference matchup in Boileau Hall.
The Rams improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 Aurora after the outcome of 25-17, 15-25, 25-9, 25-12.
The third set was highlighted by the Rams ending the segment with a 14-0 run, aided by senior defensive specialist Jenna Hernandez serving for every point during the surge.
Her efforts during the run included five of her nine service aces in the contest Tuesday.
“We felt like we needed to have a big change of pace, a change of energy, and that really helped us have a big turnaroud, especially after having the team talk with our coach,” said Hernandez, who also contributed 14 digs.
Teammate and senior middle hitter Chloe Maynard finished the night with a game-high 17 kills, including seven in the third set. She also ended with six block assists, another game high.
Eielson (1-2, 0-3 Aurora) trimmed Monroe’s lead to 10-9 in the second set after the Rams committed a net violation. From there, the rest of the set belonged to the hosts and it helped set the stage for the Rams winning the fourth set and the game.
Eielson head coach Nicole Robinson said she told the Ravens the third set “was like a roller coaster.”
“Monroe was pedal to the metal the first game (set), we were pedal to the metal the second game,” Robinson said, “and in the third and fourth game, they (Monroe) weren’t giving up.
“They wanted the victory, and they didn’t want to give us the second set. So they wanted to finish it in four.
“I feel like we didn’t have enough gas in the tank. We started fizzling out.”
Robinson said, “I told the girls this is a not a team that we can get down by five to six points. You have to stay right there with them.”
Robinson enjoyed her team’s efforts in the second set, which Eielson ended with a 14-3 run to win the set.
“I enjoyed how the girls were able to bounce back from their loss in the first (set),” Robinson said. “They came together as a team and their communication was on point.
“They continued to push for points, they continued to get loud and communicate, and that’s what made us successful in the second set.”
Eielson’s rally in the second set made Monroe determined in the third set.
“I just told team we’ve played better rhn this and we have to come out like we’re playing in the (Class 3A) state championship every time,” Rams head coach Dave Obermeyer said.
“It’s like a broken record and I say it every year, but we’ve got to play that way for us to be successful.”
Tia Campanelli contributed eight digs, six aces and game-high 23 digs for Monroe on Tuesday.
The Ravens finished the night with three players with double-digit digs — Shannon Holan with 20 and Hope Eliasen and Jessica Eid with 12 apiece. Eliasen and Eid also led the team with two aces each.
Trinity Eliasen led Eielson with 17 assists and the Ravens got a team-high three kills from Alyssa White.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter: @newsminersports.