Volleyball: Myli aces Eaglecrest to sweep of Mullen on Senior Night

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Eaglecrest junior middle blocker Lauren Myli piled up 12 service aces in the Raptors’ three-set win over Mullen on Oct. 18, 2016. Eaglecrest is the third most-prolific team in Class 5A in terms of total aces, which has helped them to a 14-6 record thus far in the 2016 season. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

CENTENNIAL | Senior Night volleyball matches are always about memories made by players about to leave the program.

Eaglecrest junior Lauren Myli created a memory for her Senior Night next season with her performance Tuesday night in the Class of 2017’s final home match.

Myli registered a program-record 12 services aces on the night, helping Eaglecrest breeze to a 25-14, 25-15, 25-18 Centennial League victory over visiting Mullen at The Nest.

Raptors coach Tanya Bond called Myli’s performance “unbeliveable” and the numbers would bear that out. The 5-foot-10 middle blocker attempted 22 serves on the evening and registered 12 aces for a shocking 54.5 percent ace percentage and made just one service error.

Add in 10 kills and five blocks and suffice it to say Myli was the biggest thorn in the side of the Mustangs.

Even with the performance, Myli (who has 41 aces in 67 sets played) has a long way to go to catch up with sophomore Lorrin Poulter (64 in 64 sets played, which puts her third in Class 5A) for the team lead. With Poulter and Myli leading the way, plus seniors Makenzi Kissman and Rachael Perrine — who each have more than 30 aces for the season — and a few others in double digits, Eaglecrest (14-6 after the sweep of Mullen) can be deadly every night in the service game.

Free points can make all the difference.

According to MaxPreps stats, Eaglecrest’s 233 aces rank third in 5A in total aces as a team behind Vista Ridge (247) and Northglenn (246).

“The service game is our strength for sure,” Bond said Oct. 14 after 11 aces helped the Raptors beat Grandview in five sets.

“All season, all the time, our service game is our strength, 100 percent,” she added. “Every server we have can get onto a run and score points. We work on it, but these girls just came in with it. We really preach serving and passing, but this year we didn’t spend as much time on it because they really just progressed into naturally good servers.”

Bond said the team is still working on the concept of “timely errors” in the service game — e.g. not taking chances in tight situations such as fifth sets — and she’s tried to trust her players.

“I’ve really backed off as a coach saying anything and putting the pressure on them so they feel like ‘oh, I have to get this in,'” Bond said. “That’s a growth thing and hopefully by the end of the season they will realize what we mean by timely errors.”