Eureka Challenges Dominican, Falls in Three Sets

Photo courtesy of Summer Inselmann.
Photo courtesy of Summer Inselmann.

EUREKA  — Dominican came to Eureka and left with a non-conference sweep on Tuesday night, but the Red Devils certainly didn't make it easy.

EC stayed within striking distance in the first two sets and nearly took the third before ultimately falling to the visiting Stars, 25-17, 25-17, 25-23, at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.\

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With the win, Dominican improved to 12-4 on the season. EC fell to 4-10.

The Stars brought a lot of firepower in the front row on Tuesday, racking up 40 kills on the night, with Gabija Sinckaite's match-high 14 leading the way. Anastasia Labadessa registered 17 assists, while Natalie Jones followed with 11.

In the back, row, meanwhile, Lauren Lavigne and Sarah Lychok contributed 12 and 10 digs, respectively.

On Eureka's side of the net, setter Sara Worrell (Jacksonville, Ill./Routt) distributed 13 assists and Caitlin Miller notched seven kills, while Corinne DeBoard (Centralia, Ill./Christ Our Rock Lutheran) and Ariel Campbell (Decatur, Ill./Cerro Gordo) contributed four and three kills, respectively.

McKenzie Reiners (Milford, Ill./Milford) and Worrell both notched a team-high eight digs, while Paige Klingler (Newton, Ill./Newton) and Cailey Dufort (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East) respectively added six and five digs.

In the third and most captivating set of the night, Eureka led by as many as six midway through the game at 14-8, but Dominican ripped off eight of the next 10 points to tie the set at 16.

It was neck-and-neck the rest of the way. The set was tied at 16-all, 17-all and 18-all before the Red Devils made it 20-18 with a kill by Annaliese Miller (Chenoa, Ill./Prairie Central) and a Dominican hitting error.

The Star scored the next three to briefly regain the advantage. A block by DeBoard tied it back up at 21-all and a service ace by Megan Masching (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac) gave EC a 22-21 lead, but that was the last time the Red Devils were on top.

With a couple EC errors and a pair of kills by Olivia Magnussen, the Stars closed it out, just before the home team could push it to extra points.

The Red Devils (4-10, 1-4 SLIAC) will next jump back into St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play on Thursday when they host Principia (4-9, 0-2) at 7 p.m.