PORTER TWP. | Whiting trailed just once Tuesday night, a brief 1-0 deficit to start the third set.
The Oilers recovered quickly, however, jumping out to a 5-1 lead before closing out a three-game sweep of Lake Station in first-round Class A sectional action at Boone Grove.
“We had a couple of instances where we made a couple of mistakes that led into a couple of points for them, but that’s something we need to clean up,” Whiting coach Kelly Greer said.
“I think overall, (we) played well.”
Whiting won 25-14, 25-16, 25-14 to advance to Saturday’s second round. The Oilers had several serving runs of four or more points during the sweep.
“They’re usually consistent servers. We don’t have a problem with serving,” Greer said. “Sometimes it’s our ability to function as a team that is our downfall.”
The Oilers functioned well Tuesday night.
In the first set, Whiting jumped out to a 4-0 lead served by Brianna Blackwell and led 8-1 to force a Lake Station timeout.
After the break, the Eagles fought back to within 11-7 but Whiting cruised the rest of the way while taking advantage of back-to-back aces by Kaylyn Anderson to make it 20-11, and an ace by Grace Huss at 22-12, and a set-winning kill by Blackwell.
Whiting jumped out to an 11-3 lead on an ace by Anderson in the second set, but the Eagles fought back to tie the match at 12-12 on an ace by Ashlinn Jorgensen -- the only tie in any game.
The Oilers only allowed four more points in the set, though. An ace by Blackwell at 21-14 forced a Lake Station timeout but the Eagles only won one more point after the timeout when the set-point serve went into the net.
Blackwell’s kill won the set on the next point.
In the third set, Lake Station went ahead 1-0 on an illegal hit by the Oilers, but Whiting recovered with a five-point serving run by Blackwell. Back-to-back aces by Mollie Lovasko made it 16-8 and Anderson served five straight points to secure the victory, ending the set and the match with an ace.
“I think we could play a little bit better. We don’t have time for that (errors in the postseason). We have to come back with something strong and positive," Greer said.
The Oilers will face Hebron at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
“We played Hebron at the beginning of the season, so we’re familiar with them. We’re just going to practice defense, because defense wins ballgames," Greer said.