WEST LIBERTY — Timing was everything. Some good, some not so much.
Tipton picked a great night for its best defensive performance of the season. For West Liberty, the toughest stretch of its regular season coincided with an illness to one of its key hitters.
That combination led to a River Valley Conference South Division volleyball sweep by the Class 3A second-ranked Tigers, 25-19, 25-18, 25-15, Thursday night at West Liberty High School.
“Defense won that match,” Tipton junior star Sommer Daniel said. “We had amazing defense, both at the net and in the back ... probably the best we’ve ever played.”
Tipton (12-2 overall) moved to 4-0 in the division heading into next Tuesday’s showdown with unbeaten Wilton.
“We were ready to play,” Tigers Coach Amy Calonder said. “Our offense is always pretty strong, but our defense tonight, that’s the best we’ve played.”
Daniel posted 15 kills and 13 assists. She’s a University of Utah commit, and certainly looked Division-I caliber Thursday.
“She knows how to make plays,” Calonder said. “She can see what’s happening before it happens and she makes everybody around her better.”
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Daniel said, “I’ve heard a lot of coaches say I have a sixth sense on the court. I’ve been training since I was little. I think I do a lot of extra work and conditioning, get in the weight room, and it really pays off.”
Blake Ehler added six kills for the winners, University of Iowa track and field recruit Jamie Kofron posted five and Amanda Smith distributed 18 assists.
For the second straight match, 3A No. 10 West Liberty (10-3, 1-2) was without its second-leading hitter, sophomore Martha Pace, who was home with illness.
“We had to make some adjustments,” Comets Coach Ruben Galvan said. “But I’m proud of the way the girls stepped up and competed. Tipton’s a very solid team with an explosive offense.”
And on this night, a defense that matched it.
Freshman Macy Daufeldt paced the Comets with nine kills. Morgan Peterson had 21 assists.
TIPTON 3, WEST LIBERTY 0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-15)
At West Liberty
Serving — Tipton 64-73 (.877), West Liberty 50-55 (.909).
Aces — Tipton 8 (Jamie Kofron 3), West Liberty 3 (three with 1).
Kills — Tipton 36 (Sommer Daniel 15), West Liberty 24 (Macy Daufeldt 9).
Assists — Tipton 35 (Amanda Smith 18), West Liberty 22 (Morgan Peterson 21).
Blocks — Tipton 7 (Kamryn Chapman 3), West Liberty 3 (Hallie Mueller 2).
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