RIPON — Knotted at two sets apiece Tuesday night with visiting East Union, Ripon’s Caryssa McKeon came up with four of her eight kills in the fifth and deciding set to lead the Indians to a thrilling 21-25, 25-18, 16-25, 25-20, 15-12 non-league win.
“It was really helpful having my team on the sidelines and on the court to tell me what was open and what I should do ball-placement wise,” McKeon said of that fifth game. “And the whole night that line shot was open so I took it and I was just pounding balls left and right.”
Ripon’s Sydney Thomason (11 kills, three blocks) started that fifth set with a pair of blocks to help the Indians out to a 3-0 lead. She had three kills including back-to-back spikes in a 7-1 run that put the Indians safely ahead at 14-7.
“Communication was the difference in that last game,” Indians coach Tyler White said. “And I reminded them that league started next week so we needed to step up. It was all about communication and who wanted to step up and lead on the court.”
Ripon (3-1) never trailed in the last set.
“I reminded them that Game 5 was a lot shorter at 15 points,” White said. “And that we needed to be the first to five points.
“It was important that we got solid passes for our middles because when we do that we get do kills, and when we don’t we falter.”
Bella Chapin was all over the court for the Indians, racking up 34 digs along with two aces.
“Last year as a freshman I played on JV and I didn’t play libero, I played outside hitter,” Chapin said. “I was constantly on the net so this season has definitely been a challenge for me.
“But defense is where I really feel I can make a difference and I love playing libero.”
Jordynn Russell had five aces for Ripon, Alyssa Barrios six blocks, Shannon Johnson 27 assists and Kaiser Brooke 11 kills.
The Lancers won the first and third sets but had problems following through, especially in the final set.
“When you go against good teams you know you have to step up your game,” East Union coach Chelsea Herrera said. “And when you come out flat like we did in that fifth game it’s a big deal.”
East Union (1-1) trailed 21-19 in the first set but closed it out on a 6-0 run due to the pinpoint serving of Savannah LeBarre (18 kills, 16 digs, six aces and three blocks) and the sheer hustle of Miekayla Surnip (26 assists, 10 kills, 13 digs and an ace).
On the play that put the Lancers ahead at 22-21, Surnip made three highlight-reel digs.
“Things like those digs fire the girls up and that is why we didn’t lose that first game,” Herrera said. “They are very emotional players and they play off of good plays or they play off of bad plays. We just need to have more good plays than bad plays.”
Melissa Scogna made 15 blocks and 10 kills for East Union.
Ripon 2, East Union 0
The Indians swept the Lancers 25-18, 25-12.
Elisabeth Lopez had three kills for East Union, Celeste Guerrero three assists and an ace, Aryanna Baranza an assist and Alyssa Clapp and Jenessa Godoy one kill each.
Ripon 2, East Union 0
The Lancers bounced back from a slow start but the Indians still came away with a 25-7, 25-17 sweep.
Elizabeth Johnson had three kills and a block for East Union. Makayla Viri posted three assists and two kills, Alyssa Douglas two kills, and Laikin Abrew had an assist, an ace and a kill.