By Zack Farmer
After splitting the first two games on the road against Urban School on Tuesday, Iris Qasevakatini and the Drew girls volleyball team put on a clinic, and strolled to its second non-league win of the season, 25-23, 23-25, 25-6, 25-17.
“Urban is a solid team and they played a great game today,” said Drew assistant coach Jon Shogan, who was serving as head coach in the absence of Lindsay Stiles. “They did not make it easy for us . . . I’m really proud of the girls.”
The Dragons (2-0) fell behind late in the second game after a 7-0 run put Urban (0-1) up 21-19, a lead the Blues were able to maintain to win the second frame.
“I told the girls before the game that volleyball is a game of responding to adversity and staying calm,” Shogan said. “And when you lose a few points in a row and it gets loud, it’s really easy to just tank it. But our girls know if the other team goes on a run, if we keep doing what we’re doing good things will happen.”
But in the third game, Drew could do no wrong and Qasevakatini was in the middle of all of it.
With Drew leading 6-2 early in the third game, the Dragons went on a 9-2 run, which included four kills and and five aces from the senior outside hitter.
“Just knowing that we could pick up the next ball and bring it back on our side, we know we could pull through in the next game,” Qasevakatini said.
The Dragons also went on a 10-0 run in the third game and Qasevakatini picked up five aces during the surge.
“When you have a player like that, it makes coaching really easy,” Shogan said. “I just told my setter, just [keep] feeding her the ball.’”
Qasevakatini finished with 20 kills on just 24 attempts.
“I’ve never seen that in any level of volleyball that I’ve coached in or played in,” Shogan said.
Three other Drew players contributed to the 11 aces in the third game.
“They were serving a lot tougher,” said Urban head coach Roberto Chui. “The girls we have with us don’t have much volleyball experience. It’s tough for them to catch up to the speed of the game.”
The fourth game began much like the third, but in reverse. Urban took a quick 6-1 lead, which caused Drew to call a timeout.
The Blues extended that lead to 8-1 after the timeout but Drew regained its composure and went on a 14-4 run to retake the lead.
Qasevakatini then closed out the match by scoring six of the final 10 points.
In the second game, Urban fell behind 19-14 but began to limit its own mistakes and take advantage of those from Drew.
“The girls relaxed a little bit and they started to do what they’re supposed to do,” Chui said. “Pass the ball, stay relaxed and control the ball instead of making unforced errors. It worked for them.”