By Coach Tina Turn
KCC VB at EGF
The Bearcats opened their October volleyball action on Monday, Oct. 4 when they traveled to East Grand Forks, home of the Greenwave, in a rescheduled match from early September.
Senior libero, Emma Sjostrand, helped her team jump to an early lead in set one when she put in 9 serves in a row, 4 of which were aces. Keeping the Wave out of system was key in set one. On the offensive side for the Bearcats, Cheyanne Scalese recorded 5 kills, while fellow seniors Kira Whitlock and Megan Larson each added 2. KCC took set one 25-19.
The Bearcats barely eked out set two with a 25-23 score. Five serving aces helped the Cats, but KCC handed EGF 14 of their 23 points off errors. Two timeouts late in the game helped to stymie the Wave’s momentum, and senior Jenna Davis ended things with a kill from the outside.
In set three, the Bearcats had one serving run, led by Scalese. In the previous two sets, KCC served tough, but that was not the case in set three, which allowed EGF to be in system. The Bearcats had to play a lot of defense, and while we came up with several nice digs, KCC struggled to gain significant momentum and couldn’t string more than a couple points together offensively. EGF took the third set 25-19.
Again in set four, the Cats struggled to string points together, but at least they minimized the errors, which helped them stay in the game early. A timeout taken at 14-16 helped to rejuvenate the team and KCC responded with a beautiful Scalese kill and a Sjostrand serving run of 6. The Cats ended the night with Sjostrand behind the line and another Scalese kill for a 25-18 win.
Energy was low right from the starting gate against the Greenwave. We did just enough work to win the first two sets, but really took our foot off the gas pedal in set three. We need to recognize that we eased up our focus on intentional serving when the going got tough, and that’s not how we want to respond. Hats off to EGF as they played a pretty error-free night offensively, and we struggled to slow down their swings at the net. Constantly playing defense is a tough spot to be in. There were a ton of digs on the night, so our defense was doing a fine job, but we were struggling to convert those passes like we usually can. Even though it wasn’t pretty, we got the win and moved our season record to 16-7.
KCC at SAC
In the second match of a busy week, KCC traveled down the road to Stephen, home of the Stephen-Argyle Central Storm on Tuesday, Oct. 5. The Bearcats beat the Storm in the previous two matches, and they were hungry to do the same again.
In the opening set, Cheyanne Scalese had 6 of her 17 kills for the night. Megan Larson added in 3 kills. The backcourt players did a fine job feeding the setters so the offense could run a fast tempo. KCC came from behind with the help of a serving run by freshman Berlyn Strege, whose string of 11 serves kept the Storm out of system and aided in the 25-18 win.
Set two was characterized by more Strege serving runs as she served 15 of 15. Her teammates kept her behind the line by mixing up the offense. Scalese had 4 kills, Larson had 3, Morgan Turn leaped for 2, and Kira Whitlock added in a single to take set two 25-14. Appropriately, Strege nabbed point 25 on an ace.
In set three, the Bearcats served 100 percent, but that’s where their success ended. After some struggles on serve receive early on, KCC never connected on offense, thus allowing the Storm the momentum. They had some nice swings that we couldn’t defend, and the Storm got the win 25-12.
Only three servers made it to the line in the fourth set. Strege served the opening 12 points to grant her team a large lead. The Bearcats quickly sided out so Emma Sjostrand stepped to the line and powered in 4 serves before the Storm found the floor with a swing. At point 19, Scalese took her turn to serve and rattled off 8 serves, including 4 aces, one of which was the match-ending point for a whopping 25-5 victory.
Serving was really key for the night. It’s incredible to have a server put in 44/44 with 6 aces in a single match, and Berlyn Strege was just on fire at the line. Overall team serving was a superb 97 percent, with 14 aces. We gave up 8 points on serve receive, which is pretty high for us. We’ll want to clean up our passing as we head into the final matches of the season. Scalese did an amazing job at the net with 17 kills and 3.5 blocks. We’re very pleased with this Conference win over the Storm. Our season record now stands at 17-7.
KCC vs. GG
To close out a week filled with three matches, KCC took on the Chargers of Grygla-Goodridge in Lancaster on Thursday, Oct. 7.
In the opening set, Kira Whitlock put a little something on her serve to end up at the line twice with serving runs. She landed 3 aces in the process. The team missed 4 serves in the set, but managed to still win by a sizable margin, 25-14. Cheyanne Scalese came up big at the net with 8 kills.
Set two was a cleaner match for the Bearcats who only missed 2 serves in the set and executed well on offense. Megan Larson led the way with 6 kills while both Jenna Davis and Whitlock added in 3 a piece. One of Whitlock’s kills proved to be the set-ending point in favor of KCC 25-11.
Berlyn Strege opened set three with a string of serves to help her team take a lead. The Chargers answered with a few tough serves of their own, but then they ran into some lineup troubles, which really slowed the game down. KCC lost their momentum for a bit, but again behind Strege’s serving, they stretched out a sizable lead. It was Morgan Turn’s tip kill that ended the night with a 25-18 win.
It was nice to get a Conference win in three sets. The Bearcats didn’t have a fabulous night at the serving line with 9 missed serves, although the 11 aces helped to balance things out.
Offensively, KCC played very aggressively and three players recorded double-digit kills. With only three regular season matches left, the Bearcat record stands at 18-7.
By Coach Tina Turn