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PALMYRA – There is victory, and there is being pleased with one's own performance. They are not the same thing.
In a Monday night non-league volleyball match, Palmyra earned a four-game victory over visiting Cedar Crest, but the Cougars were not pleased with their showing in the 25-13, 25-27, 25-12, 25-22 win.
“We played awful, or at least not the way we normally play,” Palmyra head coach Clark Sheaffer said. “The fact that they hadn't touched the ball over the weekend may have contributed to it, but we didn't play sharply.”
The Cougars (5-5) did look to be on their game early, never trailing in the first set. That opening game was clinched by a kill by Tyler Sheaffer.
But the Falcons (0-11) found some traction in the second game, leading 19-14 and having a chance to take the set when serving up 24-23. Then after surviving a potential set point by Palmyra with a block by Jake Cole, Grant Neuman served the last two points to get Cedar Crest a win.
The final point of the second set was a failed return by Palmyra, one of several mistakes by the home side in that game.
“There were errors in every area of the game,” Sheaffer said. “There were service errors, there were service return errors, there were setting errors with the ball being put too far out, the hitting was inconsistent.”
In the third set, the Cougars regained control, going from a narrow 6-4 lead to a comfortable 13-4 advantage while Joey McInerney was serving. The difference was never smaller than four for the remainder of that game, and four straight service points by Cole Schiffhauer closed it out.
But when the squads switched sides for the fourth set, the Falcons took any momentum the Cougars had away, taking a 15-8 lead. Later, Schiffhauer served six straight points, including an ace, to put Palmyra up 16-15. The last tie of the match was at 20-20, but after a failed serve by the Falcons, back-to-back kills by Collin Nissley put the Cougars up 23-20. Cedar Crest never got the chance to take the lead again.
Sheaffer led Palmyra with 12 kills, while Nissley added eight. Nissley also had three blocks. Schiffhauer served three aces. McInerney had four digs, and Seth Hutchinson had 11 assists.
For Cedar Crest, Mark Johns had five kills, two digs and an ace. Jake Cole had 12 assists, and Adam Rakow had seven blocks.
Cedar Crest head coach Pat Knight departed before being approached for an interview.