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Farmington volleyball records surprising road sweep at Rochester

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ROCHESTER — With a three-game sweep of host Rochester Thursday night, Farmington doubled its league win total from a year ago, notching its second Oakland Activities Association Red Division volleyball victory, 25-14, 25-21, 25-13, after winning just once in the league last season.

Farmington’s offensive attack was anchored by two of its veteran players, Ashley Williams and Kelli Young, with 10 and seven kills, respectively. Facilitating the offense for Farmington was senior setter Natalie Petrella, who contributed a match-high 26 assists.

“I’m really pleased with how well we played throughout,” Farmington head coach Kim Sturm said. “I thought we moved very well and served very aggressively. I’m really thrilled with our outside hitters and how well the did with shot placement.”

After suffering a disappointing 3-0 loss to Clarkston on Tuesday, Sturm said she was very encouraged by the resilience of her team and its focus on preparation for a Rochester team that was among the league’s best from a year ago.

“Credit goes to our defense and our passing. We settled down and were able to pass the ball consistently. We really kept our composure,” Sturm said.

Farmington’s starting lineup saw one significant change after junior Haley Schneider, the team’s starting middle hitter, was on crutches on the sideline after sustaining an injury on Tuesday. Srishti Pillutla was inserted into the lineup in place of Schneider, and drew praise from Sturm for a seamless transition into a new role.

“Our biggest focus was to come in and still know we could go after the other team, and not to play worried that we had to fill Schneider’s spot,” the coach said. “I felt we played really fluid without her with everyone stepping up in her place. Srishti was particularly strong out there as her primary replacement.”

In the opening game, Farmington stormed out to an early 9-2 lead and cruised to a win, as Rochester never came closer than four points.

Rochester head coach Shana Poll tried to calm her team after dropping the first game, hoping to get her team to regroup quickly.

“Usually it’s not that hard (to get them to rally). Today, for some reason, we didn’t want to move our feet and didn’t want to get to the ball,” Poll said.

The second game featured a lot of back-and-forth play, as the two sides traded points seemingly every other serve. Six times the score was tied up before Farmington ran off five straight points to take a 20-17 lead that it would not relinquish.

Rochester held a 12-9 lead midway through the third game before a seven-point run by Farmington, the longest of the match, proved enough to sway momentum to its side for the final time. Farmington won the third game, 25-13, to end the match.

After the match, Poll was eager to put the match behind her team and turn attention to their next outing, against Lake Orion.

“They obviously found our weak spots tonight and that happens,” Poll said. “They did a really nice job of doing outside tips. Usually, we pick those up, but it’s just frustrating the way we played tonight.”

For Rochester (11-4-1, 1-1), senior Erin Leppek recorded a match-high 12 kills, while fellow senior Sara Sikorski had 31 digs.

Last Updated: 9/23/2010 11:02:09 PM EST


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