OAKLAND — Quick. Efficient. Purposeful. If those are three things that Messalonskee volleyball coach Jen Croft wants to see from her team, she saw them all Tuesday night.

After a choppy start the Eagles found their stride in a hurry, scoring 12 of the first 13 points in game 2 to roll over rival Cony in straight sets, 25-17, 25-11, 25-9 in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B matchup. The victory was the third in a row for Messalonskee (3-1), while the Rams dropped to 2-3.

“That was a good win. We all played positive,” Messalonskee junior Kyra Cummings said. “We didn’t dwell on errors that were made. It really was positive all the way around.”

Cummings drilled a pair of aces to open the key run in game 2 as she staked the Eagles out to a 6-0 lead.

Messalonskee’s Elise McDonald (9) takes a shot as Cony’s Kylie Quinn (14) in Oakland on Tuesday. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Following a brief sideout to the Rams failed to produce a point, Messalonskee’s Keirou Goldsmith picked up where Cummings left off. She, too, smashed out six straight points sandwiched around a Cony timeout that did little to slow her — ripping off four straight unreturned serves.

“The girls hit really well,” Croft said. “We’ve been practicing that a lot, and they’re improvement in hitting has been just spectacular. 


“Tonight was a huge team effort. Everybody contributed in every way. We were just really clicking on all cylinders.”

Senior Candace Pelotte dominated the net play for Messalonskee, in large part to the effort of setter Elise McDonald, who effortlessly moved the ball around the court for her teammates to pounce on.

Pelotte finished with 11 winners on the evening.

“We played as a team,” Pelotte said. “We’ve been working on it, and we’ve been more positive and helping each other. It’s good to have options and players that can play many different spots.”

After an opening set that was tied as late as 14-14, the second game was never in doubt.

Messalonskee’s Elise McDonald (9) celebrates a point against Cony in Oakland on Tuesday. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

That set the stage for the third and final frame, in which Messalonskee used strong serving from McDonald and Goldsmith to open up leads of 15-4 and 21-9. Fittingly, Pelotte capped the night with a kill shot to the end line to finish things.

“The hitters get the glory, but the setters are the ones getting them that,” Croft said of McDonald’s play in the middle of the Eagle offense. “We wouldn’t get anything without the passing.”

Roughly a quarter of the way into the season, Messalonskee feels like things are trending in the right direction. The Eagles have options all over the court, in both the front row and the back row, and from the service line throughout the rotation.

“You have to focus on what is your strength and what is your weakness in every game, because it’s different every time,” Cummings said. “It’s a very mental game. If a team is struggling on one certain thing, you have to make an adjustment like that because it’s a very fast moving game.”

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