LAMOILLE - The host LaMoille Lady Lions volleyball team dug themselves a whole early and could not get out of it against county rival and new Little Ten Conference opponent DePue.
Sophomore Veronica Fitzgerald of the Little Giants served five straight points to begin Game 1 and the visitors did not relinquish the lead the remainder of the evening, winning 25-11, 25-13.
“The girls were confident from their last win against Hiawatha,” DePue coach Diana Lopez said. “It helps when you’re coming into practice, working hard, listening to each rotation. We’re a defensive team. Our digs kept us in the game.”
Both teams entered the contest with young and inexperienced squads. LaMoille had a couple upperclassmen missing on account of injury. The Little Giants squad finds itself short because many of the girls found it necessary to opt for commitments to jobs rather than to a sports team.
“I’m so proud of the few that stayed out for the team,” Lopez said. “When the pandemic hit [some girls] got jobs - three starters didn’t come back. But I’m so proud of them. They stayed out and they put the work in.”
It was Azucena Villagomez that seemed to be in the center of all the action for the Little Giants. Both digging the Lion spikes from the back row and forcing the Lions to dive all over for her own spikes, Villagomez was definitely DePue’s catalyst.
“Their digs were good,” LaMoille coach Kaitlyn Hughes said. “They didn’t let much get down. Their center hitter (Villagomez) controlled the game.”
LaMoille finally did mount a mini run at the end of the match with game point looming. But it would have taken a Herculean comeback to eclipse the 24-9 deficit they faced. In the end, they fell to the Little Giants 25-11 and 25-13.
“We couldn’t get any momentum going and there was no self discipline,” Hughes said. “I don’t know if we’ve ever played a defensive lacking game such as that. I don’t know if they thought it was going to be an even game and got content. They did not show our defensive capability.”
With the victory, DePue pulls even with LaMoille with two wins on the season, but pulls ahead of them in conference with their first Little Ten victory.