Christian Liberty rides the waves, sneaks past Westminster Christian

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In the end, Christian Liberty may have simply worn Westminster Christian down.

The first two games of Tuesday’s Northeastern Athletic match were tied at 23-23, with each team claiming a victory. But Christian Liberty hit the gas pedal in the deciding third game to ultimately claim the match 25-23, 25-27, and 25-16.

Both coaches cited a bit of fatigue at play for their respective teams. Christian Liberty (11-15, 5-3) managed that fatigue better in Game 3, as Westminster Christian (6-9-1, 4-5) faded.

“They chose the right mindset in the third game,” Christian Liberty coach Natalie Salsgiver said. “I was upset with our first two games and in the third we finally started passing the ball. And once you pass it, you can hit it. It’s no big secret. Our passing was much better in the third game.”

Westminster Christian trailed in Game 1 until tying it at 16-16, and after seven more ties between the teams, Christian Liberty secured Game 1 on an ace from Lexi Lee.

Game 2 saw Westminster’s Lindsey Vanden Bos serve her side to a 10-0 lead before the Chargers called a timeout to try to stem the bleeding.

Christian Liberty stormed back but the Warriors got a pair of kills from Savannah Dutcher to secure the overtime win.

Westminster senior Emma Kovachevich liked the way her side stayed poised in securing the Game 2 win.

“We did well adjusting because they had a few really good servers,” Kovachevich said. “We changed to a four-person serve-receive and we did well with that. But we need to improve on covering and just our energy in general.”

Kovachevich finished with 16 assists and two digs, Dutcher had nine kills and three blocks, and Emily Lamp tallied six digs, two kills and two assists.

“The girls were able to adjust to a lot of the changes that we made and that was good, and the subs we put in did very well,” Westminster coach Guy Lum said. “And Emma (Kovachevich) is always rock steady and (Vanden Bos) has always been steady for us.”

The Chargers took an early lead and never gave it up in Game 3, ending the night on a kill from Cassie Swiderek.

Swiderek finished with three kills, Jasmine Marsh had four, and Angie Nichols led Christian Liberty with eight kills. Lee finished with 30 digs to lead all players, and had six kills and two aces as well.

“When we’re all in it and we’re all focused, and we remember how we’ve played in the past, we play well,” Chargers setter Karima Guillen said. “We just had to keep encouraging each other in that second game because we knew we could play a lot better in the third.”

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