The Douglas County West Falcons couldn't handle the Eagles' serve Thursday at Arlington High School.
Eagles Kailynn Gubbels, Claire Allen, Maddie Brennfoerder and Janessa Wakefield all recorded aces during the first set, but the Falcons pulled out the 25-18 win and a 3-0 match victory. Arlington dropped to 6-17 in defeat, while DCW improved to 14-7.
“Our serving is probably one of our best strengths as a team,” Allen said.
The junior setter's ace gave Arlington 10-8 lead during Thursday's first set. Gubbels had two kills and two aces herself to get the Eagles to that point.
The home team's lead reached as high as 14-10 on Brennfoerder's second ace serve.
“I think its a really big morale booster,” she said. “Once you get on a run, you just feel like you're unstoppable. You keep pushing those points even when you're down.”
Unfortunately for Arlington, it was down sooner rather than later. DC West ended the first set on a 15-4 run to win the set and take control of the match.
During the second race to 25, Arlington tied things up at 18. Two Brennfoerder aces, one by Gubbels, Chase Andersen kills and a Milee Young block helped the Eagles get there.
But the Falcons responded again. This time, the Falcons scored three-straight points on their way to a 25-20 second-set victory. In the third, they jumped out to a 15-2 advantage and won 25-17 for the 3-0 sweep.
“Something we're working on is our energy levels and keeping them up,” Allen said afterward. She and her AHS teammates begin Nebraska Capitol Conference play 7 p.m. tonight at Syracuse. The Eagles are the No. 7 seed.
“Going into conference it's about, again, just improving every game,” Brennfoerder said. “Working on that serve receive, working on getting every single hit in and staying mentally tough.”
The Eagles will expect their own serve to be a strength.