LAFAYETTE — Though both the Dawson School and Lyons volleyball teams aren't ranked in the CHSAANow.com polls at the current time, the Mustangs and Lions have each put together noteworthy seasons while flying under the radar.
When it came to their Mile High League match at Dawson School on Tuesday night, lengthy rallies against each other and a series of five games in which nearly all of them went down to the wire suggest both squads are really just getting started.
But it was one of those nights when just a few little things made a difference, the streaking Lions — with their star hitter, Taylor Maguire, fully back in the mix after an early-season injury — managed to run their match win streak to five straight with a 3-2 victory at the Dawson School gym.
With the exception of a Lyons game two win where the LHS racked up 13 kills, every other game was won by just two points. A team finally jelling, Lyons managed to overcome a 13-11 deficit in the fifth and deciding set, winning 23-25, 25-10, 25-23, 24-26, 15-13.
"Being a younger team that's still coming together a lot, still in the process of getting more reps and getting to know each other, it was really awesome to come out and play and beat them tonight," said Maguire, a junior instrumental in last year's 2A state championship run. "We just wanted to be positive and not let any of the small stuff get to us. The energy and positivity was necessary tonight."
Maguire missed a few matches with a knee injury that required stitches, but she has quickly taken over as the LHS go-to option with 4.8 kills per set. Despite some excellent back row defense from Dawson's Kiki Porrey, Winter Mesko-Eby and Nicole Scribner, Maguire still finished with 30 kills to led the team to victory and move to 7-1 in the MHL (10-5 overall).
No game was more crazy than the finale. While Porrey was getting in some great swings for Dawson (12-2, 6-1), a Bella Jurika kill also gave the hosts an 8-4 advantage in the best-to-15 game.
But with the help of five kills in a six point stretch — coming from four different Lions — the game was tied at 10-10. Maguire got two more kills down the stretch, a Gracie Jennings attack broke a 13-13 tie and the Lions were able to win a battle right at the net for the match point.
Lyons has beaten Dawson 12 straight times dating to 2008, according to MaxPreps.com.
"It's a little bitter, I'm not going to lie," said Mesko-Eby, who had 16 of Dawson's 69 total digs in the match. "But like I was just telling my team, we played so well and we shouldn't let this bring us down because we are going to see them again (in district play). We not going to take that lightly."
"We've had a lot of success early, but as always our toughest competition comes in league and we're coming up on those big ones," said Dawson coach Carisa Kessler. "To be there, for five games against a tough team, I was proud of them to stay there mentally. This was a good step for us."
Dawson was led by Porrey's 15 kills, with Jurika's seven kills and Dagney Javes's eight bringing balance to the effort. The Mustangs will host Highland (11-3, 6-1) on Wednesday.
Lyons's Kylen Christiansen tallied 20 kills to go along with 32 set assists and 27 digs. The Lions will play a big one at Union Colony Prep (11-1, 6-0) on Thursday.
Lyons 3, Dawson School 2
At Dawson SchoolLyons (9-5, 2325252415Dawson School (12-2,2510232613
Kills — Lyons: Taylor Maguire 30, Kylen Christiansen 20, Charlotte Rogers 7; Dawson: Kiki Porrey 15, Dagney Javes 8, Bella Jurika 7, Sydney Parrish 5.
Blocks — Lyons: Christiansen 3, Rogers 2; Dawson: Parrish 4, Jurika 2.
Assists — Lyons: Christiansen 32; Dawson: Angelina Sala 43.
Aces — Lyons: Christiansen 3, Maguire 2, Avery Joy 2; Dawson: Jurika 6, Winter Mesko-Eby 3.
Digs — Lyons: Christiansen 27, Maguire 21, Jesse Bartel 17, Ava McCall 14; Dawson: Nicole Scribner 20, Mesko-Eby 16, Porrey 12, Sala 10.