By Coach Tina Turn
On Monday, Sept. 13, the WAO Ponies and the KCC Bearcats faced off in some Northern Lights Conference volleyball action in Warren.
The Bearcats were coming off a tournament on Saturday and started the first set like they might have still been a little tired. Low energy and silly mistakes gave the Ponies the advantage right out of the gate. Twelve hitting errors proved to be the nail in the coffin that helped WAO to the 25-20 win. Serving 95 percent in the set with 2 aces was the highlight as well as Jenna Davis’ 5 kills that paced the Cats.
In set two, with a concerted effort to communicate better, the energy followed suit, thus our offensive effort became much more aggressive, as evidenced by Cheyanne Scalese’s 6 kills in the set. KCC served solid again with 4 aces and 96 percent. The back court play of Berlyn Strege with 5 digs was the spark that kept feeding our setters, and the 25-18 score was a hard-earned win that turned the momentum in favor of the Bearcats.
Set three was a thing of beauty. Only 4 errors (1 serving error, 2 hitting errors, and a net violation) meant the Bearcats played a clean game. KCC enjoyed a balanced attack with 3 kills a piece from Megan Larson and Jenna Davis. Scalese had the heavy arm with 8 kills and no errors, but it was Elsa Steen’s powerful kill that closed the game and kept the Ponies in single digits with a 25-9 win.
The Bearcats played with authority again in set four. Strege and Scalese led the way at the serving line making it hard for the Ponies to play in-system, and the team recorded 7 aces in the 25-12 victory.
We really had a slow start against the Ponies. Energy was low and the team didn’t seem to get excited about anything. After re-grouping between sets, the girls came out decidedly more animated and picked up steam in a steady fashion. As they did that, you could sense the energy dissipating on the opposite side of the net. The set one loss was a worthwhile loss if we can learn from it.
Serving for the night was where we needed it to be with 93 percent and 16 aces. Freshman Berlyn Strege did a fantastic job playing cat-and-mouse with the Ponies as she led the way with 32 for 32 serves and 3 aces. Kira Whitlock had a strong night at the net on the block, and the setters, Whitlock and Turn, did a great job spreading out the offense, which was led by Scalese with 22 kills. We are happy for a Conference win that moves our record to 6-2.
Click here to get game stats VB vs WAO