WOLCOTT — Energy.
Energy in the form of adrenaline. Energy in the form of endorphins. Energy in the form of adding a point on the scoreboard.
An ace, to Frontier head coach Becky Segal, brings energy to a team — hers or another.
Twenty-four hours after the Falcons collected 15 aces against Delphi in Chalmers, Segal’s team registered 24 in its second victory in as many days, a 25-23, 25-12, 25-11 sweep of Midwest Conference and White County foe Tri-County.
“To have that ace, and to continue to serve, it’s just that energy and fire (with) that automatic point that goes to your team,” the coach said. “That was key tonight. Very, very key. We were able to serve aggressively and limit our misses, our errors on serves. That was good for us.”
When they came Tuesday, they often came in runs. Payten Hunt garnered three as the Falcons turned a first-set score of 17-all into a 22-17 advantage.
Three were scored in the first eight points of the second set, and then later Jenna McCormick posted three during a seven-point run. Alexis Johnson ended the frame on an ace, as well, and posted a pair as Frontier (5-7, 2-1) turned a 3-0 third-set deficit into an 8-3 lead.
“It gets your team excited for you,” said sophomore Camy Clapper, who accrued three in the final stanza and six total. “We’ve worked on our serves a lot in practice, and it’s really paying off.”
She put together consecutive aces for an 11-4 advantage, then dropped in the third during a set and match-ending three-point run.
“I feel like we need it,” Clapper said of the consecutive victories. “Early on, we played a lot of good teams and we’ve lost quite a few games. We really needed these games to go good, so that we know we can (get wins).”
Tri-County (0-12, 0-2) also had its share of aces. The Cavaliers scored nine, with Peyton Melchi’s three at the head of their class. Emma Michal snagged a pair as Tri-County raced out to the 3-0, third-set edge. A pair from Shelby Shambach in the first set helped bring the score to 9-9, and later Melchi picked up two during a seven-point Cavaliers run.
That run was the highlight of the match for the home team, which benefitted from five Frontier hitting errors during that timespan.
“We still have areas we need to focus on,” Tri-County head coach Jennifer Dawson said. “Some areas we focused on all last week we were comfortable with, and we still need to work some more on those areas.”
Facing a set deficit for the second straight day, the Falcons “dug our way back,” Segal joked.
“It’s good going into (facing) Clinton Prairie (on Thursday) to be able to do that two times in a row,” she added. “Hopefully we can get it to the point where we don’t get ourselves in that hole, but that is a positive for us.”
Two kills from Hunt, three aces from Taylor Walts and two hitting errors by the Cavaliers put the visitors ahead, 17-16. A Clapper kill led to another run and Hunt’s three in a five-point span.
Clapper was happy her team also was able to run its offense productively. The Falcons put down 25 kills. Abbie Carter and Hunt led the way with six apiece, and Olivia Newcom added five.
“We got a lot more chances to hit,” Clapper said. “We got set up a lot more, which was really nice, and we got a lot of kills off that.”
The Cavaliers had nine kills. Melchi led with three, while Kiara Harris and Sarah Walder added two apiece. But they still had too many unforced errors, and gave up all those aces as well.
“All of it matters, especially when we’re trying to change the culture of the program,” Dawson said. “A win would be huge for us — absolutely huge. At the same time, we’ve had confidence boosters (along the way).
“We are improving … I’m ready for that charge up the hill, that victory. I think that’s the mental hurdle that will help us.”