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Trojans couldn't slow down

Thornapple Kellogg varsity volleyball team pounced on the Wolves

Thornapple Kellogg setter Kara Burbridge puts up a set as teammate Chloe Teachout preps for a swing during their OK Gold Conference contest against visiting Forest Hills Eastern Thursday.

The Thornapple Kellogg varsity volleyball team pounced on the Wolves early and pulled out its first victory of the OK Gold Conference season Tuesday in Middleville.

The TK girls improved to 1-10 in conference play with a 25-8, 25-23, 16-25, 25-11 win over the Wolves.

Senior outside hitter Val McNamara led the Trojans with eight kills. Elie Shoobridge chipped in six aces, six kills and six blocks.

Senior Maddie Hess had ten blocks for the Trojans. Terryn Cross had a team-high 18 assists for TK, with Kara Burbridge adding eight. Chloe Teachout had seven kills for TK. Cross had six aces as well.

TK will close out the conference season at Wayland tonight.

The TK ladies fell 25-20, 25-22, 25-18 to visiting Forest Hills Eastern Thursday in Middleville.

The Trojans' troubles were much the same as they have been for much of the season. They didn't pass the ball as well as they needed to.

Playing without libero Maddie Buist recently has only made things tougher on the Trojans in the back row. Kaylee Spencer stepped into the libero role. Claudia Wilkinson has seen more time in the back row, rather than swapping turns with defensive specialist Julia Curtis.

When things went awry Thursday, the Trojans couldn't slow down the Hawks' runs. TK led the opening set 20-18 before FHE won the final seven points. TK head coach Jess Ziccarello used his first time out of the second set after the Hawks rattled off the first four points in that set. The two teams were tied as late as 21-21 in that second set before the Hawks put the set away with a well-placed tip by setter Riley Hoffman, a skill she showed of throughout the evening.

There was a slow start to the third set for the Trojans too. Eastern won the first seven points, and had a lead as big as 14-4 early on. The Trojans fought back to get within 20-18 at one point before the Hawks closed out the win.

Hess had a team-high seven kills in the loss for TK. Teachout had seven blocks. Ellie Shoobridge and Hess had three blocks apiece.

“It is just the serve receive is not good,” TK head coach Jess Ziccarello said. “You can't run an offense without a good serve receive. I was talking with Maddie here on the sideline (in the third set), because she wasn't getting set.”

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