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Monticello survives Pec in 5
Times photo: Mark Nesbitt Monticellos Karlie Klossner digs out a ball Tuesdays against Pecatonica. Monticello won in five games.
MONTICELLO - Monticello senior Taylor Pfeuti has a remedy for a cold that she has been battling.

She just kept playing volleyball and used a big play to help her forget about how she was feeling. Pfeuti hammered a kill to cap the Ponies' five-set win over Pecatonica 26-24, 19-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-6 Tuesday night.

"That was the best feeling in the world," Pfeuti said. "Your adrenaline is pumping. You want the last one always."

Monticello (4-7 Six Rivers East) jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the decisive fifth set after five straight service points including an ace by junior C.J. Dilley, a kill by senior Taylor Klitzke and a tip by Hailey Wing. The Ponies received pinpoint passing and strong net play by Klitzke and Wing.

"We have been down," Klitzke said. "It feels good coming back since we haven't won many. We are the kind of team that starts out slow. When we get ahead, we are going to keep going. It was a plus to get up that much."

Pecatonica coach Cher Schliem noticed a difference in the Vikings' attack.

"We tried to move them around a little," Schliem said. "Instead of taking it ourselves and putting the ball away, we took the safe route. The difference I think was we gave them a few more opportunities."

The first three sets were a dogfight. The Ponies took a 14-7 lead in the first game after four service points by junior Karlie Klossner, including an ace. Klossner led the Ponies with six digs.

The Vikings (3-8) mounted a comeback when sophomore Lizzy Britt scored five consecutive service points to cut the Ponies' lead to 18-17. Monticello junior Desiree Marty had a couple of kills late in the first set to give the Ponies a 23-22 lead. Pecatonica then had a service error and a hit a ball into the net to end the set.

The Vikings bounced back with some hot serving and some timely tips to take the second set. Pecatonica senior Molly Whitford, junior Alison Swenson and senior Jennah Schliem had aces to propel the Vikings to a 16-12 lead. The Vikings went to a tip game in the second and third sets and were able to find some holes in the Ponies' defense. Pecatonica senior Ellie Gifford spiked a ball between Klossner and Pfeuti to give the Vikings a 23-19 lead they wouldn't relinquish.

"Once we knew what they (Pecatonica) were doing, we cheated on defense to make sure we were able to cover them," said Monticello coach Teresa Eliason.

Monticello sophomore Amy Silver had a team-high six kills and four blocks. Dilley led the Ponies with six assists.

In a seesaw third game, Marty came through with three service points to give the Ponies an early 3-0 lead. The Ponies and Vikings went back and forth breaking each other's serves until Monticello's Elizabeth Pratt broke the game open scoring five straight service points, including two aces, to give Monticello a 20-16 lead.

Gifford had nine kills and 10 assists. Pecatonica senior Nicole Dearth had nine kills. Britt had eight kills and two blocks. Pecatonica junior Michala Boese also added 10 assists.

The Ponies couldn't overcome four service errors in the fourth game. Schliem had her second ace of the match and Britt had a block late in the fourth game that gave the Vikings a 19-13 lead. Whitford ended the fourth game with an ace that just skimmed over the net.

"I think we are playing with more confidence," Cher Schliem said. "Rather than folding like we did earlier in the season, we just keep fighting back."

The Ponies rode the momentum of a big start in the decisive fifth set.

"They wanted to win and they knew they could win," Eliason said. "That positive attitude helped."