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Focused RCB sweeps Liberty

by Randall Jett

CORRESPONDENT

CLARKSBURG -- Robert C. Byrd cruised to a 25-10, 25-14, 25-16 sweep of Liberty in Big 10 Conference volleyball competition Thursday at Liberty High School.

The Eagles impressed coach Lawren Sandy with the intensity and focus that they displayed, something that has been lacking at times this season.

"We have a tendency to play at our competition's level or below it sometimes," Sandy said. "Tonight, I told them that they needed to get out there, play their game and move well, no matter what happened. Our serves needed to be on. Our movement and our coverage had to be on."

"We have to use each game to move toward sectionals and we need to use each game as a building block to reach our goal of going to the state tournament."

RCB (7-9, 5-2 Big 10) used strong serving to propel it to the victory. The Eagles scored 13 aces out of their 47 service points.

"Serving was our emphasis last week," Sandy said. "We're not going anywhere in rally scoring without our serves. We can't afford to lose our serves into the net."

Anna Koreski led RCB with 17 points, four aces and four kills.

"Anna's stepped up," Sandy said. "She's worked hard and she has a beautiful serve. She can really rack up the points with it."

The Eagles also got solid games from Natalie Lamm, Jenna Wolfe, Brittany Bond and Amber Knapp. Lamm accounted for eight points, three aces and three kills. Wolfe added six kills and six points with two aces, while Bond and Knapp finished with 12 assists each.

In the first game, Koreski led the way against the Mountaineers. Ahead 5-3, Koreski served seven straight points to help RCB pull away. She then served the final three points for the victory.

Liberty (0-12, 0-7) stayed close for most of the second contest but the Eagles gradually pulled away. With RCB up 21-14, freshman Liza Fulks accounted for the final four service points -- two Liberty net violations and two aces.

A major factor in the first two wins for the Eagles was their defense as they held Liberty to a total of just six service points for the two games combined.

The Mountaineers started strong in the final game as they jumped out to a 10-5 advantage. Lamm rallied RCB into the lead with eight straight service points and Koreski added five points later as Liberty failed to respond.

"In the third game, we showed some energy and we started playing three hits, which is what we need," Liberty coach Debbie Spears said. "We played a little more aggressive at times. It just takes us forever to get started."

Liberty was led by Elizabeth Fluharty, who finished with five points, five assists and one kill. Defensively, Bobbie Jo Matheny had four kills and one block and Jami Stout had two blocks and one kill.