Mayo knocks Austin out of Section 1AAA volleyball tourney: VIDEO

Published 10:36 pm Friday, October 24, 2008

ROCHESTER — The Packer volleyball team had trouble getting started in a four-game loss to Mayo in the Section 1AAA quarterfinals at Mayo High School Friday.

The No. 3 seeded Spartans (15-7 overall) beat the sixth-seeded Packers by scores of 25-14, 23-25, 25-13, 25-16.

Austin (15-10 overall) was within 10-8 in the fourth game after a kill by Jolene Brody, but the Spartans scored 11 of the next 13 points to take over.

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“In game four I think a couple of girls looked like it’s over already and they started getting those thoughts of it being their senior year and their final game,” Austin head coach Darica Schneider said. “You have to live in the now and push for every point every time. I don’t think they were all doing that.”

The Spartans scored the first four points of the first game and the first five points of the third game and never trailed in either contest. Austin got to within 9-7 in the first game after a block kill by Bri Mayer, who had four blocks on the night. But Mayo’s Brittany Looker started a rally with a kill before serving seven straight points to make it 17-7 Spartans.

“They served real tough tonight,” Schneider said. “We just weren’t moving our feet real well to get under the ball.”

Austin’s lone win came in dramatic fashion as Mayo came back from a 19-13 hole to take a 23-22 lead. Jolene Brody responded with two big kills — including the game-clincher to win the second game.

“At what point is Jolene not real big? She’s pretty amazing,” Schneider said. “The kid’s a fighter and I don’t think her volleyball career is over. She’ll play in the All-Star Tournament in November and I hope she goes on to play in college. She’s certainly capable of doing that.”

Brody had seven kills, 10 digs, and 21 serve receives Friday.

Mayo’s attack was to strong for Austin over the next two games.

“We’d give them a tip, tip, and then a free ball, which gave them four chances at their offense and they used it every time. They were just constantly hitting and when we kept giving them free balls, eventually they’re going to have more points than us,” Schneider said.

With seven seniors on the squad, it was an emotional way for the Packers to end the season.

“Every team except for one has to end their season this way,” Schneider said. “They played with a lot of heart and determination and this will be the team that will be remembered for turning around our volleyball program.”

Seniors Ellen Ettinger — who had nine assists and four blocks against Mayo, Rebekah Aase, who had 10 kills and eight blocks Friday, and Brody were all three year starters for Austin.

Schneider said she will miss the seven seniors for more than their playing abilities.

“They’re funny just for the sake of being funny and they’re all smart. I think our team GPA was a 3.88 average for four years,” she said. “They’re a great group of kids with strong character and strong families. I’m going to miss these kids terribly.”

Nichelle Grage had 19 assists for Austin and Emma Arboe had 12 digs and 18 serve receives.