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Area Volleyball: Spring Valley ousts Plum City

SPRING VALLEY, Wis. -- Heart is the key ingredient in any comeback attempt. But, as Plum City found out Friday night at top-seeded Spring Valley, it's not always enough.

The Blue Devils found themselves down by significant margins in all three games and were unable to recover, though they went down fighting.

"The thing I'll remember about this team is their heart," Plum City coach Nanette Murray said. "They never quit. They always played hard. They always fought. But we didn't play consistently well enough to win a match against a very good team like Spring Valley."

Plum City found itself down 18-7 in Game 1 as the Cardinals' Leia Ellefson had four of her team's five aces in that game alone. The visitors came no closer than eight points the rest of the way and lost 25-16.

"The girls were way too excited and wound up in that first game," Murray said. "There was no good way to release that energy and pretty soon they lost their concentration, especially on the serve receive."

Spring Valley jumped to a commanding lead at 21-12 in Game 2 only to watch the Blue Devils rally within four. Spring Valley's Kimmy Keehr recorded the final two kills to score a 25-18 victory.

The Cardinals' early lead wasn't quite as big in Game 3 at 10-3. Ashley Hinrichs brought the Blue Devils back this time with three straight blocks to pull within 14-11. The Spring Valley lead stayed in that range until kills from Aarynn Deutsch and Leia Ellefson and a big block from Hannah Utecht fueled a game-clinching 6-2 run.

The final in Game 3 was 25-18.

"For whatever reason our passing wasn't on tonight and that meant we didn't hit the ball as well as we've been doing," Murray said. "We needed to hit very well to win tonight and we didn't and they did."

Amanda Daleiden had Plum City's last kill of the season as the Blue Devils finished the regular season with a 19-10 record. She had 13 service points and Amanda Van Allen had seven.

Daleiden also had eight digs while Van Allen added seven.

Spring Valley, 41-7 overall, moves on to play Saturday in the regional finals at Elmwood.