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Come from behind efforts fall short as Coyotes drop both ends of home triangular


The Coyotes apparently enjoy spotting the opposition a point, even a game. They simply clamber out of holes, over and over.

"That's becoming our signature--coming back from a slow start," observed sophomore Regyn Hicks.

The pattern emerged during Potter-Dix's hard fought 2-1 losses to Mitchell and Kimball in their home triangular on Thursday night. After appearing overmatched in their opening set, falling 25-14 to Mitchell, the Coyotes clung within striking distance in the second.

With the hosts down 18-14, momentum shifted when offensive catalyst Taylor Juelfs offered a deft short set to Alexus Rozelle, who hammered it through the Tigers' defense. Kinley Vowers took to the line and reeled off five straight service points--three by ace, one by fault and another after a clever tap by Rozelle--knotting the contest at 19-19.

From there, a tenuous back and forth ensued, closed out in Potter-Dix's favor by Hicks, who tipped the ball into a gap for the final point of a 25-23 win.

In the dramatic finale, Potter-Dix again battled back from a deficit. Down 20-15, with Mitchell seemingly on the verge of a set and match run, Hicks zig-zagged along the net, deflecting a shot and taking two before finally winning the point. Moments later she put together a five point run from the service line.

"That was scary," she said of the streak that evened the score. "You don't want to miss a serve."

She beat Mitchell's Kady Lower, Arrisa Gabel and McKenna Zulkoski on consecutive deliveries to close the gap to a single point. Then Juelfs essayed another of her perfect sets, lofting the ball over her head to Morgan Wolff, who whipped it diagonally through the defense.

"My other two hitters weren't ready," Juelfs said, casually. "I saw that Morgan was the better option."

This time the Coyotes pushed Mitchell past the 25 mark, eventually falling 28-26.

"They played so well," head coach Kristi Jung said afterward. "That's the best I've seen them play this season."

Against Kimball, the Coyotes again slumped at the start. They dropped the first set 25-13 and were down 8-4 in the second.

Wolff closed the gap from the line and for a time the game wavered. But Wolff returned to the line, earning a point from a Rozelle tap and two aces to give Potter-Dix a lead they would not relinquish.

"We couldn't give up," Tiffany Lewis said of the 25-21 win.

In the third, Potter-Dix spotted the Longhorns a 19-15 advantage and seemed to be running out of steam after Kimball's Kelly Green and Danika Daum nudged the visitors on top. Then Wolff attempted to angle the ball toward the far sideline. The shot rolled on top of the net for several feet before falling into open space on the Kimball side.

"We were just lucky it went over," Wolff said, repeating the word "lucky."

The 50-50 shot gave the Coyotes a spurt of momentum, however. Wolff returned to the line and brought them to within a point, 21-20, before Daum killed the rally.

In the end, Kimball pulled away, 25-22.

Despite two losses, coach Jung was impressed by her team.

"It says a lot for their character that they are willing to fight back," she said. "By the end of the season we'll be a much different team."


Mitchell 25 23 28

P-D 14 25 26

Kimball 25 21 25

P-D 13 25 22


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