Monday, September 9, 2019

Volleyball bounces Cissna Park, 2-0

Lacey Kaiser serves for SJO
(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)
Lacey Kaiser serves the ball during set 2 of SJO's home match against Cissna Park. Kaiser hit a team-high five aces against the Timberwolves.

In the time it would have taken to make quick trip to the restroom, have a five minute chat with an acquaintance in the cafeteria about homecoming while buying a bag of popcorn and soda, and then make your way to your seat, you would have probably missed a third of the St. Joseph-Ogden's home volleyball game against Cissna Park last Tuesday.

It took just under 35 minutes for the St. Joseph-Ogden volleyball team to power past the visiting Timberwolves, 2-0.

The Spartans rushed out to a 3-0 lead in the first set. Then, after a side out, rattled off eight consecutive points to go up 11-1 behind the serving of Katelyn Berry.

Berry, a senior, finished the non-conference contest with four aces, four kills and four digs.

Pushing to keep the game tempo quick and not waste time between points, SJO kept the offensive pedal to metal on their way to a 25-7 first set win.

"We have to get better every time we step out here," said head coach Abby McDonald. "We talked about how we are going to make that happen, no matter what their offense looked like, and stay focused to the end."

The second was nearly a mirror of the first, except with a few casting changes. Up 6-4, SJO collected nine unanswered points with Lacey Kaiser on the back line serving. She finished the night with five aces and four kills.

With their backs up against the wall at 15-5, the Timberwolves gave up another five points watching their deficit increase by 15 to 20-5. From that point on the two teams rotated scoring to an eventual 25-9 conclusion.

"I thought the kids handled that very well," she added, referring to the level of competition and the unusual schedule order on Tuesday. The varsity team played the first match instead of the traditional nightcap.

"I thought this opportunity to play first was actually a good thing for us because during the postseason you sometimes step and play the first match," said McDonald. "I told them to use this to our advantage and I thought they did a nice job of doing that."

Thanks to Emily Bigger, who had 21 assist, Kennedi Burnett led the Spartan offense at the net with seven kills. Payton Vallee chipped in another five.


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