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RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — The end result might have been one-sided, but Saturday’s volleyball match between Heidelberg and Ramstein was an exciting battle between two traditional powerhouses, with winning coming down to who made the fewer mistakes.

Ramstein swept Heidelberg, 25-9, 28-26, 25-19, but, according to Ramstein coach Hia Sebastian, the Lady Royals were forced to use every weapon at their disposal to do so.

“They were strong and we respected them,” Sebastian said. “We took it point by point, stayed level-headed and got the job done.”

Ramstein breezed through the first game, dominating with a barrage of set plays and a steady defense.

In the second, Heidelberg found its feet and the teams played evenly. The Lady Lions built a couple leads, but Ramstein’s defense, anchored by senior libero Sierra Stayberg, made sure the game didn’t get out of reach.

“We played strong and had each other’s back,” Stayberg said. “In the second game, even though we were down we stayed strong.”

The game had nine lead changes, and eventually came down to the hitting of Ramstein sophomore Charnel Austin, who attacked Heidelberg with spikes from the left side, and the Heidelberg defense.

“Heidelberg is a digging team,” Stayberg said. “Whatever we smacked at them they picked up.”

Austin tied the game at 24 with a spike, and Ramstein kept feeding her the ball. The Lady Lions got their hands on several of her blasts, deflecting the shot and counterattacking, but finally made an error to end the game.

In the third game, Heidelberg got off to an early lead, but again was plagued by errors as the game slipped away.

“We hung in there,” Heidelberg head coach Jerilyn White said. “But our biggest problem is making mistakes. We’re strong in our basics.

“They have a very good team. I feel our team is better. We just need to fine-tune.”

Both teams swept AFNORTH in later matches. Heidelberg (3-1) won 25-21, 25-4, 25-13, while Ramstein (4-0) won 25-10, 25-14, 25-6.


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